Putting a stop to unnecessary Homecoming tension


Homecoming week, the Homecoming game, and the Homecoming dance are very significant events in most highschool students’ lives, especially for high school seniors. With the hype, tension comes along with it; but why, and how can it be lessened?

Students fight for the crown when it’s time to choose homecoming king and queen. Campaigning entails making posters, handing out prizes and candy, and saying “make sure you vote for me!” to students passing by in the halls… but that’s just the surface.

The rivalry between fellow king and queen nominees begins from the start. Students must choose who, out of their group of friends, they are going to vote for. This year at Orcutt Academy there were four nominees for homecoming king and queen. The king nominees included Clayton Merrill, Josiah DeBruno, Cesar Lopez, and Nathan Piacentini, and the queen nominees included Taylor Martinez, Mecaela Lopez, Katie Vandermuelen, and Anaisa BravoGuzman.

Nominee Taylor Martinez says, “I won’t lie, there were definitely moments where it felt tough to have faith in myself because of the actions others were taking toward campaigning… a nominee I am friends with went around telling the rest of our friends to vote for her, which causes some tension in the friend group.”

While there were times of tension between the nominees, this year’s Homecoming King Josiah DeBruno says otherwise, “I didn’t really campaign much so I tried to stay out of the tension between the nominees, but of course towards the end, tension began to build up.”

But the question is: why is there tension in the first place? At Orcutt Academy, Homecoming is centered around friendship: participating in making floats and bleacher decorations, going to the Homecoming football game, and going to dinner and getting ready with your friends for the Homecoming dance. Martinez responds to this question by stating, “I think with every competition, there is some tension, whether those people force it or not. Everyone wants to win, and therefore, when you have to go against people, tension is created.”

Last year, previous seniors Celine Busnelli and Julia Herrera, decided to go against the grain and run together when they were both nominated for Prom queen. Busnelli states, “We wanted to change the whole stigma of people feeling like running for Homecoming/Prom king and queen is a competition that is about popularity or gaining people’s approval or votes Julia and I felt that the campaign could reflect the type of friendship we have, not create tension between the two of us and our friend group.”

Although Homecoming can be a stress filled and competitive week, working together with your friends can lessen the stress significantly, whether it be by making decorations, getting ready for the dance, or running for Homecoming royalty.