I would like to dedicate my first Warrior Words column to all of the mothers of Wilton High School’s senior class of 2016 who want their child to look their best on picture day. I vehemently agree that we should all put forth our best effort. Even without the pressures of picture day, I am an individual who will not leave the house to buy produce from Stop & Shop without color-coordinating my outfit and fixing my hair.
I’ve been dreading this day for quite some time, and it isn’t because I don’t know what to wear. Senior pictures are even bigger and better than underclassmen photos. They’re the most important pictures in the yearbook.
There is plenty to be nervous about. When my classmates are 40 and can’t put a face to my name, they will go to their class of 2016 yearbook and see a picture of my 18-year-old self. When we show our yearbooks to our kids and pick out our friends, it’s strange to think that this will be their reference of my friends and me. It’s frightening to think that if I were to become famous (or infamous), my potentially awkward picture will be what everyone sees on the Internet. I don’t need to be sitting on a couch opposite Ellen DeGeneres and have my unflattering yearbook photo flash before the audience.
I’ve always wondered how each year’s seniors look so confident in their photos when I can’t seem to smile without looking like I’m in pain. We’re very fortunate to have professional photographers come in and try to immortalize us, but not being able to see the pictures is unnerving. What if I’m squinting or my smile is too wide? If you’re like me, you have to worry about both (it took about 15 different shots to get the headshot you see at the beginning of the article). You want to look great, and you want everyone to remember your image in the best way possible.
Of course all of the parents want their children to look their best, and as such, many students come to school dressed to the nines ready to bring a pretty picture home for mom. What I love especially about senior picture day are the kids who walk in with a T-shirt and shorts. A flash of horror sparks in the eyes of the photographer and the mothers taking your check. Then they ask, “is this the picture that you think your mother wants before her baby goes to college?” These mothers mean the best, even though they try to tell the students to return with proper attire and grinning faces.
Now, if any students who have experience with this seemingly rude sendoff are reading this column, I direct a message to you: these mothers are sending you back for a good reason! I encourage all of my fellow seniors to thank your parents, whether your mother or father tells you to dress well and take a nice picture, or if they couldn’t care less. If you decide to take the third option like many of my classmates, make good use of your parents’ money for the private professional photographer and choice of location and multiple outfits and give your parents a keepsake for your senior year! We’re almost there, and our parents have led us this far with their love and support. Before you take your picture this year, remember to smile especially bright, because you have a few people to thank for getting to your last year at Wilton High School.