Homecoming 2021 still feels like home

TJ Homecoming 2021, despite all its limitations due to COVID-19, still successfully captures the spirit of homecoming.


Elaine Li

Students in the Class of 2023 cheer from the stands during one of TJ’s 2021 pep rallies. At the pep rally, students upheld the tradition of wearing their signature class color.

Michelle Lin, Staff Writer

You would think that TJ Homecoming in 2021 would be quite different from previous years. And in some ways, it definitely was.

With many students staying virtual, the school is less packed with students than normal years. Less students means less of everything–from pep rallies to spirit bombs, the school couldn’t embody the same spirit of homecoming as it usually did. Could Musical Extravaganza (MEX) even happen like it usually did?

Even so, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, people found ways to pull through and carry on the Homecoming tradition like always. It is evident in the colorful banners and creative T-shirt designs from each class, in the catchy class songs, and in the memorable spirit videos. Many TJ students came together to organize and successfully create MEX performances and pep rallies that were just as exhilarating to see online as they must have been in person. Some changes to events such as food cans being turned into a TJ-wide sculpture rather than 4 separate class-wide ones fostered a stronger sense of community within the school.

Unfortunately, some events such as the float competition were not able to appear this year for Homecoming due to obvious reasons. Yet, the newly implemented virtual competitions did well in stepping in. From chess tournaments, to Minecraft, to virtual scavenger hunts and social media competitions. Students participated in these events with the same fervor they would have any other year.

I myself remained virtual this year as my parents were concerned about COVID-19 and like many others, I found myself feeling very disconnected from everyone at TJ. However, Homecoming allowed us all to cheer for our respective classes and for a few moments, life felt a little bit like before the pandemic began. I thoroughly enjoyed donating to money wars and sharing my class’s social media post around to win the social media competition. Watching the spirit videos and listening to the class songs gave me a newfound appreciation for how hard everyone had worked on their respective projects. I loved hearing about how my in-person friends worked to dress up for spirit days and seeing the photos of detailed costumes online, and even though I was virtual I still felt included in all the festivities.

TJ Student Government Association (SGA) and all the class coordinators did a fantastic job of organizing TJ’s Hybrid Homecoming 2021, and I couldn’t be more thankful.