Let’s dance the night away

Living in the present moment is important

After getting ourselves checked in at the entrance, my friends and I ascended the stairs into a spacious, dark-lit venue. There were chairs and tables set up; balloons, fancy decorations and colorful lights filled the space. There was a DJ playing loud party music that got the whole crowd moving; some had their hands raised, others were jumping and singing along to the music— it was as if I was attending a music concert. A crowd of students wearing dresses and high heels, suits and formal shoes accumulated on the dance floor as they danced the night away.

Yesterday, Nov. 20, was my final Homecoming dance in my high school journey.  

Before the dance, I competed in a virtual Speech and Debate league tournament. Competing online was no different than competing in person as my routine was similar. I woke up at around 5 a.m. to get dressed and prepare before my debate rounds. Prior to the first round, the team went on a call via Zoom and we did our traditional “hype circle”. Moments like these created bridges of connection within the team, amidst the isolating environment of competing online. 

In contrast to the previous “C” league tournament where I competed with my Policy debate partner, this time, I competed in Congress—an individual event. Debating alone in the comfort of my home made me miss and reminisce memories of competing in person. During the tournament, there were a total of three rounds plus a final round. The tournament ended at approximately 6:30 p.m. 

In my head, I thought, thank goodness. Usually, competitions ended super late at night, making attending other plans impossible. Luckily, our coach allowed us to leave after the fourth round and miss the awards section of the tournament. I was grateful because I did not feel confined to choosing one or the other. The Speech and Debate tournament and the Homecoming dance were not mutually exclusive, meaning I could attend both. 

As soon as the final Congress round concluded, I dashed to my room to get dressed. I put on a white fitted dress, a black leather jacket, black boots and a few gold-toned accessories. Then, I met up with two of my friends before getting dropped off at a restaurant near the venue. After finishing our food, we walked to the USS Midway Museum; the time was 8:30 p.m. That night the weather was cold and I could feel the breeze from the nearby ocean. 

For senior Laurinne Eugenio’s last Homecoming dance, she wore a white fitted dress, black leather jacket and black boots. Attending school events such as dances made her realize the importance of living in the moment. (Laurinne Eugenio)

The dance started at 7 p.m. Although we were an hour and a half late, the experience was still memorable. I saw many teachers, friends, classmates, fellow teammates, staff members and more. Seeing that most attendees did not wear masks, I was able to see their bright smiles illuminate the room.

Like others, I too danced the night away. The experience felt enjoyable and liberating after the past few months of stressful core classes, extracurricular activities and college applications. Attending the homecoming dance felt like being released from the shackles with the heavyweight of my stress attached; it was a time I had been looking forward to. Last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, school dances and other in-person activities were cancelled. Consequently, students like me were hungry for school functions like dances in an effort to connect, interact and enjoy moments with others. 

If given the chance and privilege, students should attend school-related activities because it can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. ”

— Laurinne Eugenio

Oftentimes, students are bombarded with numerous responsibilities from both home and school. Therefore, they forget to have fun and live in the moment. If given the chance and privilege, students should attend school-related activities because it can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

Although yesterday was a jam-packed and eventful day with a Speech and Debate tournament in the morning and afternoon, and a Homecoming dance in the evening, it was also an unforgettable one. With this, I look forward to attending future dances and any senior-themed events. I will make sure to bear in mind that I must enjoy and cherish every moment that I have for the remainder of my high school career.