With roaring applause and thunderous cheers, Seoul Foreign High School’s annual, long-awaited Field Day officially begun.
A day full of competition and class spirit, Field Day is one of the most anticipated events of the school year. It is held in high esteem by the entire school – including freshmen – for it gives an opportunity for non-athletes to participate in competitive games, and for the athletes to showcase their talent in the more serious events of Field Day. As Juna Jang (11) put it, “we are the school that gets the most hyped for field day by far.”
This accurately reflects the atmosphere that surrounds field day: Field Day is the event that the entire high school looks forward to, for it gives a chance for all classes to bond while participating in friendly competition. However, the day is meaningful for various reasons for each respective class.
For the class of 2017, the reigning champions of Field Day, it was a matter of protecting their throne. They had claimed the position of “victor” in the battle of Field day last year, ultimately beating the senior class (the expected winners of Field Day). This year’s seniors were ready to put forth their all in order to defend their title. They wanted to “make history,” as a senior who wished not to be named explained, as the first class to win Field Day more than once. However, the same senior reassured that “win or lose, it won’t matter as long as we as a class had fun on our last field day.”
To the junior class of 2018, Field Day was a day to prove their worth – an opportunity to showcase their own talent, to take from the seniors the first place title. With the junior class winning Field Day for the past two years, it was expected that the juniors would, once again, defeat the seniors. In finals for primary games (basketball, volleyball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee) between the juniors and seniors, the crowd was larger, the cheers were louder, and the stakes were higher. Playing under the weight of such expectations, the junior class unfortunately fell to the seniors by a slim margin. However, Juna Jang was once again quick to declare that “the junior class has never been so united” and that “the memories would last forever, despite being disappointed at the results.”
Unlike the intense showdown between the upperclassmen, underclassmen were less confident about their chances of coming in first place. The bigger, badder, and more experienced seniors intimidated many of the youngest class of 2020. The sophomores, on the other hand, were more concerned about keeping a strong lead over the freshman rather than placing only a few steps behind the juniors.
The competitiveness that gets unleashed during Field Day at Seoul Foreign School may mandate that there is a definite ‘loser’ and ‘winner’ to the event, but perhaps that is what makes the day so universally anticipated among the student body and faculty alike. The “hype” surrounding the day reflects the fierce nature of the day itself: the battle of the grades.
However, in the midst of pressure and expectations, as well as (at times) bitter rivalries, students are brought together under their respective classes, ultimately bonding as a grade level better than ever before.