by Abby Panayi '20
The most exciting time of the year is just around the corner, so get your glitter ready, iron your tube top, and be prepared for perpetual disappointment after every school event following this one: it’s NCS Homecoming week! For all of the freshmen and new students who don’t know what to expect, I’ve prepared the ultimate survival guide to help you have the best time possible while also remaining safe and in the loop about our school’s customs.
For those who don’t know where the dance is located, picture the most spacious and logical location for a dance on the close that you can think of. Of course you are picturing one of the Athletic Center gyms. Now, make sure to picture it completely empty because obviously the dance is in Hearst Auditorium, which is small and has questionable ventilation. Although you may not think this makes perfect sense, it actually does, and you’re wrong. The dense population plus the lack of breathable air creates the thrill of not knowing whether you are going to collapse at any moment, adding another layer of adrenaline to an already exhilarating night. Secondly, the condensed body heat in the room will make you feel comfortable and toasty, almost as if you are bundled in blankets, roasting marshmallows on an already warm summer night on the Sun.
If you happen to arrive early enough where people are still having conversations on the dance floor, you may find yourself chatting with another student you don’t know very well or even an STA boy. If you don’t know how to keep the chat going, try bringing up how long the entry line was or mentioning that you had known the senior theme days in advance. To really come prepared, draft your complaints about the DJ ahead of time so you can be the first of all of your friends to make a witty comment about the out-of-date song selection. As the dance quickens pace, you’ll find that everybody is concentrated in the center of the room, feverishly jumping up and down and slamming into each other. You may be thinking, what kind of foreign ritual has just taken shape before my very eyes? Or, how can a single human being possibly produce that much sweat? If you are thinking either of those things, you clearly don’t know how to party like a winner and I’m a little bit embarrassed on your behalf. If you came with the intent of “dancing”, you might as well just hop in an Uber and get out of town because this isn’t the time or place. If you want to be cool, you better march right into that blob of people and start flailing your body around like a champ. You get 10 points for every person you slam into whilst jumping, 20 points for every wrong lyric you scream, and 30 points for absolutely obliterating someone's ankles. If you see an STA student being tossed around in the air like a rag doll, please do not panic. This is a game we like to call, “Let’s See if We Can Get the Lightest Kid in Our Class to Fly Through The Ceiling." This game doesn’t have any winners. I know all of this may seem overwhelming, so here’s a special tip for freshmen: the center of the mosh pit acts as the eye of the storm in the midst of all the craziness, so if you and your friends are looking for a place to just sit down, drink a cup of tea, and discuss literature, try pushing your way to the very center of the crowd while "Everytime We Touch" is playing. If you’re in the mood to get a little bit rowdy, try inviting all of your teachers to come throw it down on the dance floor with you. Studies suggest that even your most terrifying teachers will be responsive to this offer 100% of the time and even do the worm on the floor if you ask nicely.
If you ever need a change of scenery, I’ll let you in on some insider information: there’s actually a secret party in the teacher’s lounge on the third floor. If you and your friends just step over the “Do not enter” sign blocking the stairs and follow the beat of the trap music, you won’t be able to miss it. A teacher may stop you and say something like, “You can’t go up there”. That’s just their special little way of asking for the secret party password, which is obviously, “It’s party time”. Once you announce it with confidence, you should be good to go.
Now that you are armed with all of this valuable information, you are ready to storm right into the auditorium and make some memories. So stay safe, have fun, and don’t forget to say a prayer in the Cathedral beforehand — you’ll need all the help you can get.