Sophomore perspective: Gia Gupta

November 20, 2021

At Rosa International Middle School, during the last day of my sixth grade spirit week, there was green in the bandana tied in my hair, the smeared paint under my eyes, and the fabric of every piece of cloth hugging my body. As all of the sixth graders collected together in the bleachers, our socks, necklaces, t-shirts, but most of all, our spirit, created a sea of green. It was enough for all of us to feel like we were united and belonged to something special.

At Cherry Hill High School East, during the last day of my ninth grade Spirit Week, pajamas hugged my body, a fear of fitting in on my mind, and thoughts collecting about the time when we were green with a spirit that had vanished into thin air, something beyond grasp. As all of us ninth-graders sat in our Google Meets, our ceiling fans and profile pictures created a sea of individuals, where most of us probably didn’t know that it was Spirit Week, and if we did, we had trouble figuring out what to feel spirited about.

Now, I don’t know how to have school spirit for a school that I’ve spent most of my time attending on a screen. After a year of being isolated in my home, as I spend my tenth-grade year in school, there are times when I feel like I’m walking and everything around me is invisible, and I am invisible to everyone else. I don’t have the same willingness to rummage through every box in my closet to find a single green beaded necklace or relentlessly beg my parents to go to Party City to get colorful socks. Since I entered Cherry Hill East alone as a freshman this year, it feels like things haven’t changed, even if they absolutely have.

If we don’t recognize that we are now together, we are not embracing our shared identity as students

— Gia Gupta ('24)

Yet, with every day, some moments remind me why I should be proud of this school. As sophomores, we entered this school alone. If we don’t recognize that we are now together, we are not embracing our shared identity as students, which can unite us if we believe that we belong to something special. Four years later, there is still something that can transcend our differences as individuals and let us rise again, this time, as a sea of red.

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