Community, Bonding, and School Spirit

The real benefits of dress-up days may lie beneath the surface.


Photo courtesy of Laura Dupuis

A group of students pose for a picture on Ugly Sweater Day, one of Greylock’s most well-known school spirit days.

School, team, and club spirit days at Mount Greylock have always been exciting times for the entire student body, and this school year proves to be no different. At first glance, spirit days seem to be just days to dress up or to wear goofy outfits. However, these days can also be important in order to form a community among the student body.

Over the years, these days “are almost the same in the sense that clubs and teams have been very supportive,” said Lawrence Bell, who has been a teacher at Mount Greylock for 28 years. It has been a tradition for sports teams or clubs to participate in a spirit the day of an event, letting the rest of the school know about the occasion. Spirit days also help with team and club bonding and morale. When teams and clubs all do a spirit together, it not only benefits the organization as a whole – it helps the students as individuals to feel like they belong. These days “help the whole school support one another,” health teacher and Peer Team coach Emily Leitt said.  

Separate from team spirit days, school spirit days, such as Pajama Day, ugly sweater day, red out, and spirit week, have always been popular among students. On spirit days, someone can walk through the halls of Mount Greylock and see the students wearing their ugliest sweaters or their comfiest animal onesies. Although these days appear to simply be days for students to wear fun outfits, they mean much more, as Leitt explained: “spirits help with a sense or feeling of positivity and they help everyone to feel like a part of something.”

[spirit days] help everyone to feel like a part of something.

— Emily Leitt

For some students, making friends and constantly feeling a sense of belonging are both tough tasks. Student and Peer Team member Eva Myers commented that school spirit days let “a lot of students work together and have a chance to bond through clubs and sports, especially if they’re not as comfortable in class. It gives students a common interest.” The days, in addition to promoting events, inadvertently help students to bond with one another.

Although the middle and high school students share a building, middle schoolers are often separated from the high school. Having a spirit day in common with the high school also helps the middle school to connect more with the rest of the student body, helping to develop a sense of community that spans across grades to unify all Mt. Greylock students.

Dressing up in neon may at first appear to yield superficial benefits: more attendees to the afternoon’s lacrosse game, maybe. But wearing the same clothes as others around you may have more positive impacts than meets the eye.