Warrior Words: Senior traditions are anything but traditional

With the 2017-2018 school year in full swing, the halls of Wilton High School are once again filled with students. As everyone gets reacclimated to the school, the senior students are once again christened the “role models;” we now take on a number of responsibilities like guiding freshmen, applying to college, and not falling into a senior slump. However, with these academic obligations come some of the most eclectic and entertaining aspects of senior year: from the mundane (we have a special parking lot!) to the wacky (Toga Day, anyone?), the seniors adopt a series of traditions that are special to their class.

Throughout the year, there are some traditions that are just considered protocol by all of the students. Senior privilege, for example, allows us to leave campus during our free period for the hour and get lunch with friends. We are given free rein of the “Jungle” on the second floor, as well as the ability to choose our own lockers and priority when picking classes. On the more radical side, there’s Senior Ditch Day, where the eldest class skips school en masse, and Senior Prank Day. Though the administration has a tight grip when it comes to the pranks we pull, it was quite amusing to come into school to see a gathering of dogs on the third floor. During Spirit Week, it’s highly unlikely you’ll run into a senior not wearing blue and white. A tip for the freshmen: watch these traditions carefully, as they will one day belong to you. And don’t host a water balloon fight in the hallway.

As a young, naive freshman witnessing my first Toga Day, I initially gawked at the audacity of the upperclassmen. Why would anyone want to make a great fool of themselves wearing a bedsheet toga? I used to shake my oblivious head in disdain. Now, though, as a senior myself, I finally see the appeal of wearing a toga in the middle of Spirit Week. The tradition of celebrating senior uniqueness is not only a great Instagram-worthy photo op, it’s also a ridiculous and fun idea that gives the seniors a chance to bond as a class. We all share a great pride in our school, and senior customs create a real sense of unity. To quote High School Musical: “We’re all in this together!”

Of all of the traditions in our school, the post-graduation party is the largest and most anticipated. After graduation, the seniors congregate for a night of celebration of the completion of our four years of high school. PGP is a highly guarded secret during all four years of school, and when it finally occurs, the senior class can unwind and jubilate together one last time. PGP lasts all night, and one of the more beautiful traditions is the gathering of all the seniors at the beach at 5 the morning after to watch the sunrise. This tradition is the culmination of all of the work we’ve done: we’re standing in front of a new dawn, readying ourselves for whatever new traditions we’ll discover in college. Together as a class, we stand on the beach, looking ahead to what may come, united in our sleepy giddiness.

For now, though, we’ve only got small traditions to handle. As we begin our final year of high school, we stand by our second-floor lockers and look ahead to what’s coming. The senior customs are ours now, and we will make of them what we will. However, no matter how small these traditions are, we celebrate our pride in our school and in ourselves.

Maggie Cummins is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.