Senior says bring back more final year traditions

Arjun Prabhakar '23, Associate Editor, Online

Our norms and expectations are constantly changing, and along the way, some of our school traditions have gone by the wayside. Greenhills seniors once had the privilege of organizing their senior prank, lock-in, and skip day. But today, the senior prank feels regulated by the school, defeating the point of the prank. Lock-in, where seniors had a sleepover in the school, no longer exists, and seniors seem to have lost the drive within them to even put together a covert senior skip day. 

The senior prank, a tradition every student anticipates in their time at high school; from covering the floors in bubble wrap to covering everything in the principal’s office with tin foil and filling it with balloons, we have all heard of the craziest senior pranks. Sure, there are some pranks that have gone too far, but the reality is that most pranks are harmless. Rather, they provide a pleasant surprise and comedic laugh for the faculty and students. Regulating senior pranks takes away the creativity and spontaneity that makes them so special. The seniors now have to get their prank approved by the school. Instead of this, the school should establish clear guidelines for the prank. By establishing clear guidelines, the school would demonstrate that it trusts students to act responsibly, and preserve the element of surprise. 

One of the things I looked forward to most as a freshman was lock-in. Lock-in is where all the seniors would get locked into the school and would spend the whole night with their peers inside the school. Basically, it was a whole grade sleepover inside of the school. It was a tradition at Greenhills for years, but was taken away by the school due to the extensive resources needed for it. Not many teachers are willing to stay overnight and supervise the seniors, and due to past lock-in fiascos, the school is very hesitant to bring back this senior tradition. The school only remembers the fiascos, but I remember hearing stories of how fun the lock-ins were. The seniors would set up movies, play hide-and-seek around the school, and do many other fun activities. It was a great time for the senior class to bond, as many people would hang out with those they didn’t spend much time with during their high school years. 

Students have been skipping school for ages. In movies and television shows, we see students try their best to get out of class and go home, no matter how big the consequences are if they get caught. However, the reality is that most high schoolers, at least at Greenhills, rarely skip class. When they are expected to be in a class they show up and, hopefully, participate. However, across almost all high schools, there is always one day where the seniors don’t show up to school: senior skip day. This tradition has been around forever and represents a day of going against the grain for the senior class. Aware of the consequence of missing any school extracurriculars on that day, the seniors participate in activities together like a barbeque in the park. In recent years, this tradition has been lost due to the lack of communication in the senior class. Last year, the senior skip day was planned around the same time as the boys basketball district playoffs and the beginning of spring sports. This poor planning resulted in only half the grade actually skipping. Out of loyalty to their teammates and coaches, the spring sport athletes felt the need to attend their first practices of the season and the athletes on the basketball team needed to practice before their big playoff game. Students are taught to email teachers and coaches when missing a day of school. However, this day is an exception. The whole point of a senior skip day is that the faculty are unaware that it is happening. By emailing their teachers and coaches about missing this day the seniors spoil the spontaneity of the moment.

For the sake of school spirit and fond memories these traditions need to be brought back to Greenhills. It’s not too late for seniors to find the motivation and communication skills to do so.