A Taste of Normality: FOCO

By: Kayla Engler

The fall season is upon us and personally, I couldn’t be any happier. As much as I hate saying farewell to the cloudless days with the unrelenting rays of sun, fall feels like renewal. Autumn paints landscapes a mirage of oranges, browns, yellows, and reds, stealing the simplicity from the boring greens. Fog settles into the forests and I get to pretend that I’m a character in Twilight for a couple months or so. Autumn pulls leaves from the trees and litters the ground with color, foreshadowing the snow that might fall in late December. Or rather, January or February… or March when it comes to North Carolina weather. 

I associate many things with fall: the start of a new school year, reuniting with those friends that you’re not close enough with to see over the summer but that you care about enough to miss, Halloween, Thanksgiving, bonfires, fear farm, camping, hot cider, apple picking, pumpkins… shall I go on? Though spring is the revival of all that was lost in fall and barren in winter, I see fall as the start of the cycle, a cycle for growth. Nonetheless, if you can’t tell, fall is a personal favorite of mine. 

One of my most favorite parts of fall is football season. And not just any football game, not just any week or any theme. My most favorite of all is homecoming. Homecoming is a week of tradition and fun. It’s a week when school spirit floods through the halls. There’s green and white, band music, smiles, and so much pride to be an Imp. That’s one of the things I was most disappointed to lose thanks to COVID-19.

But somehow, my sorrows were heard and my unspoken prayers were answered. This year, FOCO was born. That’s right, fake homecoming. For me, it all began when I ran across a TikTok that read, “So I threw a homecoming last night…” It was a girl and her friends in pretty dresses with cute boys and pretty decorations. It looked like a night of fun even if it couldn’t really compare to the joys of the actual homecoming dance. But I knew that we’d lost our homecoming football game, our homecoming parade, and our bonfire, so it seemed only fair that I take one measly thing back. 

I called up three of my best friends to pitch the idea and it was a hit. We chose a date, bought some dresses, picked a restaurant, found a place to take photos, and we were set. On October 17th, I got a small taste of what COVID stole from me, from all high schoolers. Here are a couple of my favorite photos from that experience: 

Ironically, groups of people from other schools across Wake County began sharing photos from their FOCOS around the same time. I suppose we weren’t the only ones that were missing our school functions. Check out some pictures taken by other people that participated in FOCO this year!!

All in all, from my own experience and from the fun I can see other people have had at their FOCOs, I highly recommend doing this yourself. So gather up some friends (not too many, stay healthy and safe!!), grab a tux or a dress, take some pictures, eat some good food, dance it out, but most of all make some memories! COVID might’ve taken a lot from us, but I think that this could be a little something that we take back.

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