Exchange student Serena’s first homecoming

October 18, 2019

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Saruta, or known by her American name “Serena”, Khuanwilai is from Krabi, Thailand and will be spending the 2019-2020 school year here at RBHS as an exchange student living with a local host family. She will be writing a column detailing her experiences here in America for the Clarion, as well as other articles. 

My first ever Homecoming, or spirit week, was last week, from the 30th of September to 4th of October. I knew what Homecoming is from some American series or movies and also from returned exchange students telling us stories about it at orientation camps. For the most part, in my home country, we don’t have anything like this so I found it to be weird but also really fun. 

Homecoming is an exclusively American tradition so being an exchange student here gave me the opportunity to experience these activities. As soon as I heard about this week, I was curious and eagerly awaited it. I was thinking about my outfits for the whole week but to be honest, I didn’t follow the theme every day.

Monday, September 30th was the first day of my spirit week and the theme was “Breakfast Club Day” aka “Pajama Day.” I had never heard of the movie, “The Breakfast Club” before and my host sister explained to me what the movie was about and it made me want to watch this classic American movie. I think most people wore pajamas and night dresses to school. I wore a t-shirt, gray jacket, and elephant pants that I brought from Thailand.

The next day was “Decade Day.” The freshman year dressed up in the style of the 60s, sophomore 70s, juniors 80s, and seniors (including me) in 90s. This was my favorite day  because I usually like to dress up in 90s outfits. I wore a red striped shirt that my host sister gave to me, fancy jeans, hair pins, and a belt. I also liked this day because I saw some fancy decorations for homecoming at the entrance doors, the ceramic room and on the windows. 

Day three of spirit week was “Jersey Day”. I didn’t participate on this day because I didn’t have any jerseys.

Thursday was “Red Carpet Day” and I saw some crazy and weird costumes such as Bob Ross. I also skipped this day because I didn’t have anything appropriate for the theme.

Friday was “Crazy Blue and White Day,” and we wore blue and white, our school colors. This was an easy day, periods at school were shorter because we had a big assembly called a “pep rally” the last hour at school. It was very fun, there was a school marching band, color guard, cheerleaders, and students cheering for their class. They also have a dodgeball game between teacher and sophomore year. At the end, they crowned the homecoming king and queen. 

That night, there was the homecoming football game. After school, I came back home for my host sister’s birthday celebration. Then, we went right to the football game where my host sister explained American football to me. We just stayed for a half an hour of the game because my leg was hurting from standing.

Saturday night was the event that I was most excited to experience– the Homecoming dance. I decided to go with my host sister and her friends. I was wearing uncomfortable shoes so after we left the dance at around 10 p.m., my feet hurt so bad. At first I felt a little bit awkward because there was a big circle in the center of people dancing. For about half an hour, I just watched people dance but then I started to dance and have fun. As this was my first homecoming dance, I had high expectations but it was not a big deal. I had a fun and great experience anyways.

As an exchange student, it can be hard sometimes not to think of your home country and of your friends and family so but staying busy helps with missing home. This was the first time I experienced a big event in American culture and I think it was a great experience! I can’t wait to do other fun things like this. 

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