Flannel Fridays spark unity at East


Courtesy of @flannel.fridays Instagram

Students and teachers at Cherry Hill East celebrate Flannel Friday.

The makeup of this year’s Cherry Hill East student body is unique as only one of the four classes has experienced a full and normal in-person year of high school. The freshman and sophomore classes both came into 2021 as beginners and the junior class only reached March of their freshman year before the COVID-19 pandemic crudely cut it short. The senior class made it through their freshman year in its entirety but months into the following one, the world went virtual.

In many ways, people are trying to make up for lost time, whether it be socially, academically or simply by enjoying the time in high school that they so tragically lost out on. This is true for the seniors most of all.
Their time at East is running dangerously short and in the foregoing weeks, but several new ideas have been implemented to create a sense of unity in the grade that has been sorely lacking thus far.
Perhaps the most prominent new trend at East is “Flannel Fridays,” and it is as simple as it sounds: students and even some faculty members spend the day in a flannel. Daniel Arougheti (‘22) curated the idea back in 2019 after Flannel Friday was featured as one of the spirit week dress-up-days. He and his classmate Cooper Pike (‘22) were not only inspired by the concept but by numerous Flannel Friday pages across the internet. They encouraged their classmates to start wearing flannels on Fridays and after the year-and-a-half hiatus that was the pandemic, the fashion choice resurfaced.

As their senior year was beginning, Arougheti and Pike generated an Instagram page for the trend, and as of early
October 2021, the “movement,” as most are calling it, officially began. The page can be found under the name
flannel.fridays: no use of the words “East” or “cougars” whatsoever as it is not exclusive to the school.
“We have some kids from West doing it… even some moms follow us,” Arougheti said. “West” obviously refers to Cherry Hill High School West, so it is clear that Flannel Fridays’ extend far beyond the halls of East. That, however, should not discount the immense amount of unity that has been instilled in the school.
As the movement continues to grow, more students, seniors or otherwise, come to school Friday morning in a flannel. The cohesion among everyone is excellent to see as, unfortunately, people do not exhibit school spirit like they used to. That is why an idea like Flannel Friday is perfect course correction.
“It’s definitely a cool conversation starter,” Arougheti said. After the pandemic fractured the world, ‘cool conversation starters’ and coming together are some of the most important steps that can be taken towards rebuilding. “A lot of people [he doesn’t] even know… will come up to [him] and ask about the page or wear flannels to school,” he said. It shows just how popular the concept is and how vital it is that it continues. Ideally, the enthusiasm present in the Flannel Friday movement will translate to general spirit in future school years.

Beyond people wearing flannels to school, Arougheti has some plans to grow the movement himself. After a thorough search for more Flannel Friday pages, the trend was apparently nationwide. After Arougheti reached out to a page based in Michigan, a collaboration was quickly conceived. With some followers all the way up by the Great Lakes, the Flannel Friday surge shows no signs of stopping and more collaborations are expected in the coming months. The most desirable to Arougheti would be a collaboration with the Instagram page that inspired him in the first place, almost.friday. With over 90,000 followers, it would certainly bring his page even more traction and pull the exuberant concept full circle.

Perhaps his greatest endeavor towards growing the campaign is the flannel giveaway. Flannel Friday’s growing reputation leaves potential for several more giveaways in the future but right now Arougheti simply wants to “see where it goes.” To enter, all one needs to do is follow the flannel.fridays page on Instagram, repost the giveaway on their story, direct-message a picture of themselves and a friend in flannels, and tag three more friends who do not already follow the page. It is as easy as that. After all, the true essence of Flannel Fridays is, in Arougheti’s words, “a great way for everyone to get involved.”

Waking up on a Friday morning and knowing that everyone in school will be rocking the same attire as you is an exciting feeling. Alliteration aside, Friday is the perfect day to promote flannels as everyone has a joyous disposition about them heading into the weekend. Truly nothing can bring the Flannel Friday movement down and, on top of that, once you are wearing the soft, vibrant stripes of the flannel, nothing can bring you down either.