Making Waves with Traditions
Every team has their own way of self-improvement and bonding, and there is no exception to Columbus North’s own swim team. Junior Ayush Panda participates in all the same traditions the rest of the swim team does, including bleaching his own hair.
“We meet up at someone’s house and there’s three tables set up with different powers of bleach so we have people sit down and all the swimmers put the bleach in each other’s hair. We keep going back and forth and digging into the roots, then once we feel we got everything we put hair nets on and they chill for twenty minutes and wash their hair after.” Panda said.
After bleaching their hair, they do even more to it and shave it.
“Hair shaving is at our Psych dinner the day before sectionals, we just eat dinner then sit in chairs and everyone just shaves each other. It’s not a serious thing so we just have fun with it and put crazy designs in each others hair if we want,” Panda said.
Because of bleaching and shaving their hair, some swimmers end up spending more time with each other than their own families.
“Swimming is such a family type of sport because we are with each other for more time than our families and actually talking and interacting so we have this close bond. Plus, since it’s been going on for so many years you pretty much have to do it or you’re not part of the family. It brings us closer together and really shows pride of being on the swim team,” Panda said.
Those who don’t follow the traditions are also affected.
“Swimmers that don’t follow the traditions don’t really feel like they’re part of the family. We won’t really talk to them as much so it’s just like an outsider that’s swimming with us. It goes both ways too, it’s not on purpose because they just don’t feel like talking to us as much either,” Panda said.
Sophomore Naomy Argueta Ventura and the rest of the diving team at North also does their own type of traditions, that do not involve their hair.
“As a team we do team hangouts before a meet, on occasions if we have time we have breakfasts and team bonding times. We talk about how we can improve, strive for accuracy, and build as a team,” Ventura said.
Ventura and the rest of the diving team grow and improve because of the things they do together.
“We do all these things to grow stronger as a team, compete better, and show what we are capable of. if a team has a better bond they can do things better and communicate better,” Ventura said.
Even if it didn’t improve the teams communication, they would still do it just for the fun of it.
“I love it,” Panda said, “My freshman year I was a little worried but now it’s fun and you feel so prideful about being on such a prestigious team.”