It's Alli's least favorite time of year, also known as the beginning of school. She sees her friends all summer just fine, thank you, and nobody likes school. Nobody. (Nobody in their right minds, anyway.) Plus, junior year will have the SATs, and college panic, and all sorts of other shit she really doesn't want to think about. She wants to be back at the Bronze with her friends, not sitting in school at (ugh) eight in the morning.
And to make it worse, they have assembly.
Sunnydale High is usually good about avoiding assemblies. There's not a lot they bother collecting everyone in one place for, but apparently the start of the year is a special occasion enough to qualify. They cram all the students into the gym, but it doesn't really fit all the students, and certainly not the students and the teachers, so there's a bunch of people standing awkwardly in the back and the whole event has to be violating at least three fire codes. But the principal has his whole speech about the Joys of Learning and the Promise of a New Year, and so they all get to bundle into the room and try to ignore the crowding enough to listen to him for an hour. Talk about a captive audience. Alli sits as far towards the back of the section reserved for the juniors as she can, next to a couple of her girlfriends who'd been out of town for the summer, and catches them up on the gossip rather than paying attention.
Finally the speech winds down and he asks all the new students to stand and be welcomed. There's a scattering of the expected half-hearted applause from the older students under the pointed gaze of their teachers. The freshmen all stand up; but there's a few new students in other grades as well.