Shaunak Patil

A group of Students Crowd Surfing at The HCC Homecoming 2022

Something You Need to Know: HCC Homecoming

Walking by myself towards the Burrill Galleria at 8 p.m. last Saturday, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I did know was that there was a sign on the main entrance which read: ENTRANCE CLOSED. Darn. Guess I gotta call my ride. Oh wait, it also says: Homecoming entrance on 3rd level of East Garage. That’s quite a hike, but I guess I’ll see what I came here for. Muscling up the East Garage catwalk, as I looked to my right, I saw a line in the distance. People? People. A line out the door to get into HCC Homecoming.

I would say I’m semi-involved with Student Life, the organization responsible for planning events here on campus. I mean, I technically work for them, but they’ve always got a lot going on over there, and my current brain capacity is non-ideal. It’s hard to know whether an event like this will be widely attended, and on a community college campus where only 17% of the students attend full-time, getting people through the door for any event, especially on a cold autumn Saturday night, is a challenge.

Challenge accepted.

As the line steadily meandered through the payment station, the crowd’s excitement grew. We’re all here, we’re all looking for a good time—let’s make the most of it. The theme of Homecoming was neon, and it was followed. Walking in, there were rainbow string lights hanging on the second level above the stage area, which was the dance floor. On the other side of the elevator, a colorfully lit lounge area and a photo booth with props. Upstairs, the DJ, and a (s)eating area overlooking the dance floor.

It was a fun time. The DJ was consistent, and didn’t drift too far from normal party songs. Plus some refreshing classics sprinkled in, of which I appreciated “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast and “Nice for What” by Drake. The food was simple but essential—you can’t go wrong with wings, soda and sweets. The dance floor was full from start to finish; the dance circles were abundant, and there was plenty of mingling.

For a first-ever Homecoming, it was a great event. Of course, there’s always room for improvements, and SGA will no doubt work towards making them. They could offer more activities for students who don’t just want to dance, like game boards or decks of cards. Vegan/vegetarian friendly food options like salad or pastries made by our culinary arts students would be a great addition in the name of inclusivity. The party could also stand to go later or start earlier. The Galleria is a great location, but an outdoor activity also could’ve been enjoyable.

It was a refreshing Saturday night. But that’s only how I feel, how about other people? I asked two main questions to the attendees when I wasn’t having my own fun: “Why’d you come to Homecoming?” and “How is your experience so far?” Here are some of the responses:

Alyssa somberly mumbled, “It’s alright, it’s OK.” But later, she expressed, “It’s pretty good.”

Jeremy responded, “Mannn, right now, maybe some better songs. I’m not hyped enough.” I saw him dancing his heart out a brief moment later.

Jozy, whilst jumping up and down, yelled, “I’ve never been to a homecoming, so I was excited. It’s amazing!”

Natalia, waiting in the food line, said, “My friend Maria invited me. I need to eat something before I go insane.” I feel you.

It seems like everyone’s so busy all the time. With so many experiences that make us feel small, it’s easy to lose control. For me, and I hope for many others, HCC Homecoming served as a reminder that it’s okay to kick back now and then, and enjoy life the way you want to enjoy it. I encourage you, through all your hard work and determination, to find fun in your work and work in your fun. To quote Ferris Bueller on his day off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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