Photograph by Mila King
Unity Week is something students look forward to all year. Fun themed days like Pajama Day or Decades Day are always looked forward to, but Rally Day, or officially Red and Gold Day is the highlight of the show. This final day of Unity Week allows students to show their pride for their school in a friendly and competitive way, and fosters a strong sense of class pride.
Red and Gold Day is a way for students to have friendly competition over their school spirit, and to reduce their stress. Seeing who has the craziest outfit and which grade can outdo the others is a nice way to take students’ minds off of school. The fact that Unity Week occurs in late October solidifies this. It comes at just the right time, when the school year is getting into full swing, and memories of summer are slipping away.
Class pride can be beneficial on its own. By competing against other grades, students become closer to their friends and classmates. This closeness becomes beneficial later in the year, when a class is more tightly knit, or more comfortable in their environment. Working together with your friends to have the coolest red and gold clothing you can find, all in an attempt to collectively beat the other grades, is a form of bonding.
All this collective teamwork and friendly competition creates a strong sense of unity. Let’s face it, in high school your main social circle usually consists of your friends from your year. Since it’s such a big school, Berkeley High School (BHS) is no stranger to cliques. Unity Week and Rally Day offer a chance to disrupt that, because everyone becomes united as they seek to have the most spirit.
However, it is important to keep in mind that class pride can also become negative. Behavior such as chanting vulgar comments at underclassmen detracts from the sense of unity that Unity Week is all about. Rally Day and Unity Week are both about showing pride for your school, which can be expressed through your clothing choices, or maybe even how loud you can yell your graduation year down the hallway. However, a line needs to be drawn. It’s inappropriate to curse at other students, or to recklessly throw object into the crowd.
Overall, Rally Day gives students a chance to bond and decompress. It creates friendly competition between classes, all in the name of school spirit. That competition is a good way to keep students’ heads in the game as the school year starts to become vigorous. As long as class competition and pride doesn’t devolve into a contest of negativity, it’s simply a way for students to show school spirit.