Friday, June 21, 2024

As A Father or mother, I Hate Senior Superlatives


I used to be on the yearbook committee once I was in highschool. I cherished my journalism lessons and I feel having college students write about their favourite recollections and their objectives for the longer term alongside photos of their adolescent years is a real artwork kind that’s vital even on this age of digital all the pieces. However there was one factor I didn’t love: senior superlatives.

Senior superlatives haven’t any place within the yearbook or wherever else for that matter. I felt this fashion once I graduated highschool thirty years in the past and I really feel extra strongly about it now that my children are highschool college students.

This isn’t bitter grapes. In highschool, I used to be voted finest dressed. I used to be 17 and the nomination and the votes stroked my ego. However an acquaintance let me know that there are loads of children who don’t have the means to purchase “good” garments. Her phrases hit me and I felt materialistic. Most of all, although, I used to be ashamed that I lacked the self-awareness to see issues from her perspective earlier than she pointed them out to me.

About ten years later I used to be visiting an previous highschool buddy and had dinner together with her dad and mom. First the topic of promenade king and queen got here up, then we began speaking about senior superlatives. My buddy’s dad was nonetheless pissed that his daughter didn’t win “Most Seemingly To Succeed.” Right here we had been sitting across the desk speaking — and getting genuinely mad! — about one thing from a decade in the past. However when you consider it, that title means completely nothing and completely all the pieces suddenly.

I’ve three children in highschool and I hear the identical story yearly: The favored children get nominated and win again and again so you have got a handful of scholars getting all of them. Then there are the youngsters who win and it’s clearly a joke. Somebody wins for Finest Smile who has very crooked enamel, and the man who has by no means had a girlfriend and is commonly sitting alone at lunch will get voted Most Flirtatious.

It may be a chance to place children down and make enjoyable of them in a very freaking loud and hurtful manner. Positive, possibly you assume I’m overreacting or taking issues too critically, however I’m fairly assured once I say if it occurred to you or your baby, you wouldn’t be taking it so calmly.

And sure, there are yearbook advisors who volunteer their time and spend hours with children, nevertheless it’s not on them to inform the youngsters who to vote for.

Then there’s the flip aspect of really being named “Most Seemingly To Succeed.” Seems, that’s not nice both, and a few children carry it as a burden, a stress to succeed.

I do know senior superlatives have been round without end; they’re a convention. However is it value it? Positive, it lifts some children up, however there are additionally for whom the sting of them final for a very very long time.

In a time after we are so centered on autonomy and telling our youngsters to be true to themselves, why are we letting their classmates categorize them? We discuss inclusion, about how nobody is healthier than anybody else, and taught to uplift one another as a substitute of taking one another down, after which we inform them to vote on who has the most effective smile, finest dressed, or the most effective couple. Then, we’re telling them to have enjoyable with it and to not take it so critically. Eliminating this outdated custom altogether would maintain all of the damage emotions round it and in the long run, our youngsters aren’t going to be lacking out on a factor.

Diana Park is a author who finds solitude in an excellent e book, the ocean, and consuming quick meals together with her children.


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