By Josephine ’21
One of my favorite things about Harvard Westlake is the school spirit and overall pride each of us has for our school in all areas of focus. Whenever there is a game, showcase, performance, or club meeting, a decent amount of people make an effort to come and support. Not only is our community accepting of everyone’s interests, but it’s also invested in the success of each individual in their respective activities. We celebrate each other’s efforts and accomplishments and encourage each other to pursue whatever we believe we can do. Whether you are a beginner or proficient at something, I feel like Harvard-Westlake is a supportive environment to explore new or continuing interests.
For me, school spirit means nothing without the Fanatics, which are the collection of students who show up to games. They come in their official shirts or whatever the themed outfit is to support all of our athletic teams. Head Fanatics represent each grade, lead the cheers, and commit to attending every athletic event. My favorite moment of playing volleyball was our homecoming game junior year. The Fanatics were ready in the stands before we started warming up, and from the first point to the last, their cheers sharply drowned out those of the opposing team and even our parents. Their unified and intimidating spirit not only amplified the pressure on the other team but helped us keep our energy high and momentum going towards an eventual win. Their enthusiasm is unmatched, and whenever they show up, it feels like they are on the court with us.
In and out of athletics, there are many talented individuals within our community who make it easy to support. Harvard-Westlake’s facilities, the abundance of resources, and dedicated faculty significantly help to realize every student’s potential, and the school does well to highlight the achievements of every one of them. Before coming here, I was never really a fan of the theater. I had been to a few plays and musicals outside of school, but I never fully enjoyed them or to see any myself. However, after I saw the teaser for Footloose during assembly in eighth grade, I immediately got tickets to see the whole show. I may have also gone to see it both nights it was playing. Again, in eleventh grade, one of my friends had written a play for our school’s playwriting contest, so I honestly intended to watch hers and leave. I ended up staying to see everyone else’s and even went back the next night to see more. The overall production quality, the idea that the actors from our drama department played their roles so convincingly and that kids my age wrote and directed their own plays was extraordinary to me. I couldn’t believe these people were my classmates in both instances, and I was proud to be a part of the same school community as them. I’ve never left an art showcase, sporting event, or performance without feeling that way, and I’m always reminded of just how uniquely gifted our school is everytime.