Do senior superlatives make people feel excluded?


The Mirror reporter

Twenty years from now, high school will be one big blur. While many people like that thought, there’s still the burden of the infamous yearbook. The one piece from school filled with memories, photos and superlatives that can’t be forgotten. But how accurate are the superlatives really? Do the people own up to their titles, or is it just a popularity game?

Every year at SPASH, seniors are presented with a list of superlatives that the class is able to vote for. Some titles include, “Best Dressed” or “Most likely to become the president.” Students are able to vote for one girl and one guy they feel best fit the title.

A seemingly harmless activity may strike up drama between friends and classmates. Some students believe that only the “popular” people will win because everyone knows them. If that’s the case, where do the underdogs come in? How’re they supposed to shine senior year?

Breanna Weiler, a senior said, “I don’t understand why we have superlatives. I mean, yea I guess it’s cool to look back on it later in life and compare what people thought they were going to do with their life and what they’re actually doing now. However, right now it’s not that great. I believe that everyone should have the same chance of winning a superlative, but it’s hard when we’re such a big school and not everyone knows who you are. Of course, it’s all about popularity because that’s who people know.”

Superlatives help to push students into the dark holes of stereotypes that somehow seem to define our high school legacies.  For example, students who were nominated for Most Likely to succeed were mostly students who took an obscene number of A.P classes and stretched themselves too thin, in every meaning of the word. But maybe these “over-achievers” would like to be remembered for something more than being academically, well, perfect?  And what parent would want to hear their son/daughter just won Most Likely to be Wanted by the Authorities?  Make that none.

Paige Feltz, a senior and a member of yearbook said, “I think the reason why we do superlatives is because it’s tradition. I’ve never heard of a high school who hasn’t done it, even my parents had it in their yearbooks way back when. I think the thought itself is fun and nice, but when you see the same student’s name over and over again for different categories it just gets boring.”

Rod Lawrence, a senior said, “Superlatives only reinforce, and in some circumstances, create, high school stereotypes (the band geeks, teachers’ pets, wanna-bes, jocks, stoners, and hotties) that many of us are trying desperately to escape by the time we graduate.”

Despite all the negative comments towards superlatives, the majority of the class enjoys this page of the yearbook.

Kaitlyn Herman, a senior and female winner of “Looks most like a famous person” said, “At first I was against the idea. I was voted for looking like a famous actor from a depressing show where the main character kills herself.” Herman is compared to the actress Katherine Langford, or widely known as Hannah Baker from the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”

“However, once I thought it through, I laughed to myself. I know 30 years from now nobody will remember me or what I was voted for, so it doesn’t matter to me. Honestly, it also makes me feel a bit excited that my classmates chose me to win such an interesting superlative,” Herman said.

Overall, I do agree that a handful of classmates do feel left out because they didn’t win something. High school students either want to be the talk of the class or completely invisible. I also think that superlatives are a popular group vote. The same names pop up over and over again for different categories, it’s hard to just dismiss that for a coincidence. In my opinion, I think they should get rid of the page and substitute it for all the awards students have won their senior year or what scholarships students have earned. But again, it’s hard to break tradition.