Warrior Words: Save the t-shirts!

Two weeks ago my friends and I walked through the doors of WHS for our fourth and final first day at Wilton High School.

I wish I could say that we did so as the calm and cool seniors we should be, but no; instead of arriving individually like mature adults, we stood in the parking lot in nervous excitement, reassuring one another that we had unquestionably worn the right dresses and that sandals were indeed a better choice than flip-flops.

Not until each and every one of my friends had arrived did we proceed to walk in as one large, giggling pack. Mature? Pshhh, of course.

When I entered high school as a freshman, senior year felt millennia away. The seniors were godlike, intimidating giants that one would aspire to be but never truly become.

However, over the past two weeks I have come to appreciate what two seniors said to me the week before my freshman year: “We may seem old, but to be honest we still feel like freshmen. High school will go by before you know it.” It was unfathomable at the time, but now I am one of those seniors who I looked up to with so much admiration, and I, too, still feel like the five-foot, shy me who walked through those doors four years ago.

Therefore, I agree with all of the senior giants of the past who have said: treasure the time.

But how? Adults always tell kids to “treasure their youth,” but how does one truly do so? I, too, am still struggling to find the answer, but I do have one piece of advice for the freshmen and all those who will one day be incoming freshmen: save the T-shirts.

First, there are the homecoming shirts. Every year each class is designated a color for their homecoming T-shirts and every year the various student governments invent a catchy phrase to put on said T-shirts. Freshman year our student government was assigned the impossible task of designing a khaki T-shirt — not green or yellow — khaki.

After much deliberation a final product emerged emblazoned with the now infamous slogan “Khaki isn’t just 4 pants.” The significance? No one quite knows.

Yet, while to some it may appear a petty exercise, these homecoming T-shirts undeniably demonstrate the creativity, humor, humility and, above all, irreplaceable ability of WHS students to find the hidden light in even the most melancholy colors.

Next come the tie-dye and splatter paint shirts from cross-country. Each season my team gets together to tie-dye shirts, eat pizza, and color our hands alarming shades of blue and red.

However, these shirts do more than stain our parents’ washing machines; they capture the uniquely vivacious and collaborative character of Wilton High School where streamers, banners and costume-clad teams daily crowd the hallways, and teachers check in to learn the results of last night’s meet.

Then, layered throughout are the ice cream-stained Scoops shirts that smell like Swedish fish and sour gummy worms, a constant reminder of the greater Wilton traditions that we are each a part of every day.

It may sound ridiculous, but as I have nostalgically approached my senior year I have come to cherish my two skyscraper-sized, rainbow-colored, stacks of cotton T-shirts. Some might deem this abnormal (I’m not saying I’m not weird), but these teetering piles serve as a snapshot of the past four years of my life and a symbol of everything I love about Wilton High School.

Therefore freshman, I convey you a piece of unconventional advice: save the T-shirts.

Casey Chase is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.