Semi-Formal, You Asked For It.

By Sapna Humar, Matthew Lindzon and Esther Eisen

Complaining may be the norm for Forest Hill students. Our school is now known as an academically inclined and non-spirited environment. This Semi-Formal seemed like a test: could FHCI students finally rise to the task and find their spirit and pride? The short answer: sort of. Almost all students at FHCI have been so used to being upset about the lack of school spirit and excitement. However, only 15% of students purchased a ticket to the Semi-Formal dance.

Only 15% of students purchased a ticket to the Semi-Formal dance.

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When February 15th came, I, along with most others, had some doubts, but we all came out of it feeling like it had been more-or-less successful. Generally, the overall opinion I got from most people who attended the dance was that it went better than they had expected. The venue was small, but it was enjoyable and didn’t feel cramped in the slightest. The decorations added ambience, and the DJ provided us with some great music. There were refreshments and snacks offered, as well as a photo booth, which I thought was one of the main highlights. My favourite part of the night though was the general vibe and atmosphere of the place — everyone was dancing and having a good time, and I feel like it was the first time in a long while where people were actually proud to be a part of this school and contribute to its identity. All of this, as well as the music and venue, served to make for a great evening.

Naturally, there were some things that could have been improved. For instance, although there were drinks and some snacks offered, there could have been more food provided. There was little to complain about other than that, but of course, the one major problem was the smaller number of attendees in comparison to the entire population of the school. It was already an overall great experience, but if more people had bought tickets and come, it would have been even better. Despite the constant complaining of FHCI not having any dances or events, once one did finally come along, people were reluctant to buy tickets. I don’t know if that was because of the venue, the cost, or the lack of school spirit, but I do know that this dance set an example for the years to come. Hopefully, others will be encouraged to buy tickets for future events, to not only have a good time, but to support our school as well!

In the past, Forest Hill has had some problems with school spirit and with making the place feel welcoming and exciting. This dance, which has paved the way for many more dances to come, was a huge step forward in skyrocketing our school spirit and improving the sense of identity shared by Forest Hill students. Thirty-five dollars may seem like a lot, however, in the grand scheme of things, an experience like a Semi-Formal in high school is priceless.

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Students at the Semi-Formal dance downtown on February 15th

The question I kept asking myself was whether students were not buying tickets in the first place based on the idea that they did not want to go to the event, or was it that students genuinely enjoy complaining about school events. For the last decade or so, students have been accustomed to complaining about the lack of school spirit in our school. A possible reason why tickets sales were not amazing could have been that students get satisfaction from finding small problems from events, more than having a spirited event itself.


Here are the stats for the event:

The number of students who attended: approx. 150

Most students attending were in grade 10, then grade 12, then grade 11 and the least number of students were in grade 9.


To sum it up, I think the semi-formal was both successful and necessary. Yes, there were not as many students as there could have been, but this only proves that Forest Hill was able to pull it off, even with a limited number of students.  Of course, a huge thank you goes out to the members of Student Council, as well as all of the staff who helped organize and supervise the event. These people, and all those who bought tickets and supported the dance, were what made it possible, and what helped set a strong precedent for Forest Hill’s bright future.

Students who did not attend the event probably are happy they did not ‘lose’ $35. The people who went to the dance likely are happy that they gained a great experience. When I am 50 years old, and I am looking through my Yearbook from high school, I hope I will feel joy remembering the great time I had with my friends at this event.

Maybe once students see that others had a great time at this dance, they will realize that they can ignore the small imperfections of this night and just have a good time. So what if they did not have food? Eat before the dance! The Semi-Formal was not about experiencing a perfect night; it was about having pride in our school and coming together as a community.

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