Perks of being a West senior


While coming up with ideas for this story, we traveled out to our sacred turf. We soaked up some sun, munched on some pretzels and busted out a few profound thoughts. However, we started off writing this with the notion that seniors have lost all their privileges, that we got the short end of the stick, but as we started brainstorming, we realized maybe we do have some pretty sweet perks.

Number one: thumbs up to having the option to place late arrival or early dismissal in your schedule! Seriously, not having a class for an hour a day does wonders to a senior’s mentality. Whether you get to spend a little more time each morning in REM sleep or get to go home to “start your homework” early, it makes a pretty big difference in a senior’s day. We have early dismissal everyday, and honestly, we could not imagine having to take another class and stay in school for the full seven hours.

Number two: being released two weeks early from school! The weather starts getting nice around mid-April to May (or so the weathermen say), so it feels amazing being free to take hikes in Castlewood rather than those tedious notes in math. Instead of studying about cumulus clouds, we get to talk about how that cumulus cloud totally looks like an elephant doing a backflip.

Number three: if you have an A in a class, you don’t have to take a final! Enough said.

Number four: you have the trust and respect from teachers, hence more freedom! Quick shout-out to Wayland’s couch. In all seriousness though, teachers have more trust and respect for the seniors. With their trust comes more freedom. Contrary to popular belief, your teachers are not trying to belabor you with PowerPoints and essays on essays. By your senior year, your teachers are very understanding to what you have had to work through the last four years. In fact, if you prove that you are trustworthy and responsible enough, teachers will give you a little extra time to do an assignment or let you venture out to the lounge or turf to finish up some reading (or even maybe just to take a quick breather from school).

Number five: senior traditions. Shall we walk through the list? This school year had an exciting start by the seniors claiming their territory with a camp-out the night before the last first day. The camp-out brought the Class of 2013 closer together, even at five in the morning. On top of the camp-out, the seniors get to participate in the hand-wall, the Cardinals’ game, the breakfast, the end of the year BBQ and the lock-in. Each event only brings you closer to your classmates, leaving you with memories that you’ll never forget.

Number six: the little things. While they may seem small, there are little perks that add up about being a senior. First of all, you get better parking! So, say good-bye to the hike from the pit and the daily struggle with the geese. Also, you get the best spot for the pep-rallies. It really does alter your pep experience being able to witness the Poms’ running man head-on. In addition, it also doesn’t hurt to watch your fellow classmates as Mr. Longhorn contestants. Who wouldn’t want to see Jaron Ma shake it while sporting sequined gold shorts and five-inch heels one more time? To the left, to the left just a little further please, Jaron! Lastly, having the mere title of being a senior puts you on top. The word “senior” automatically earns you some respect with the underclassmen and brings you a certain swagger.

But don’t be fooled by these privileges. That’s all they are after-all : privileges. They are not rights, so they can (and they will) be taken away. Our class learned first-hand that fooling around in the senior lounge would not be tolerated. From this, we took away the lesson that in order to keep these perks, you must earn them.

Our advice? Be respectful to every adult in the building. Despite what you may be thinking, it really does go a long way. You never know when you might need an extra letter of recommendation! Also, apply for college by October. It’ll save you so much stress (and you get the better dorm), allowing you to fully enjoy your last year at West. Next, don’t skip. Seriously, it just isn’t worth it. It truly does create a terrible habit and makes you lose the respect of your teachers and administrator. On top of that, you just missed out on at least an hour of notes, which only forces you to work harder in the long-run. In addition, use your class-time wisely. Pinterest, Temple Run and Snapchat will not earn you the A that you need to get out of your final (oh, and maybe graduate).

Here at West, we stress the values of the three brass rings and we brag about the relationships we share with our classmates, teachers and administrators. While it does get repetitive to hear “take care of yourself, take care of each other, take care of this place” at every class meeting, you should cherish it. Because when you graduate in the end of May, that is what you will leave here with. Yes, you will leave with the Pythagorean Theorem burned into your brain, but what you really leave with, is the sense of community and pride West instills in each student. You leave with the memories of your last Homecoming football game and the time Mr. Brown caught you on your cell phone. You leave knowing more about Mr. O’Neal’s experience in Chattanooga than you ever thought you would and you walk away with the image of Cutelli and the Water Polo team screaming after winning the State Championship. Chazen’s voice (TOUCHDOWN, LONGHORNS!!!!!) will echo in your head forever and you will never forget shopping for your first Prom attire. Each Fall spirit week will replay in your head like a movie and you’ll always feel like you belong somewhere.

So Seniors, with eight days left, we urge you to make a memory from each day. And to the underclassmen, we encourage you to make the most out of your time spent here at West. Take it from us, right now you are itching to leave, but come May your senior year, you’ll be begging to stay just a little longer. YOLO: you’re only a longhorn once.