In Good Spirits

A hubbub of Blue Key chanting, vuvuzela blasting and cymbal clashing, everything shrouded in a haze of blue face paint: before Andover, I had only seen school spirit like this in the movies. Enraptured by the smiles on students’ faces and the sight of Gunga rallying up the crowd, I could not help but feel excited as well, and I found myself yelling, “WHAT DO WE EAT?” along with the rest of the students. And when our football team landed the winning touchdown, I, together with the blue-colored crowd, erupted into wild cheering. Coming from a school that lacked school spirit, entering Andover was an incredible experience. Our spirit is demonstrated the minute new students step onto campus. Unlike other schools with their apathetic cheerleaders and even more indifferent fans, Andover fosters a truly genuine kind of spirit. Blue Key Heads dress up in blue and wear skirts every Friday, enduring cold weather just to brighten our days. At sports games, even ones not held at home, it is not uncommon to see Andover fans greatly outnumber those of the other team. Our cheers are louder, our Blue Key Heads are livelier and our energy is more contagious. In the midst of so much spirited fun, however, it is easy to forget that we must always be respectful as well. Competition can be motivating and fun, but, when pursued in an ill spirit, it can become damaging and hurtful to both parties. w This week’s “Spirit Week” was just another example of Andover’s wholehearted pride. With Exeter as our common enemy, the entire Andover community united on “Exeter Geek Day” to playfully taunt our “dreadful” rivals. Wearing our ridiculous red sweaters, nerdy suspenders and geeky glasses, Andover students should really appreciate our school solidarity this week and understand that not all schools can come together like we do. The days leading up to Andover-Exeter Weekend are truly a community effort, giving every member of Andover an opportunity to join in on the fun. But in the days following Spirit Week, Andover should seek to uphold that same standard of enthusiasm and sincerity. While there is no harm in some innocent teasing, Andover students should not be making rude or disparaging comments about our athletic competition. Rather than putting down Exeter, we should stick to what we do best: cheering Andover on.