Senior Privileges

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by Thea Softing

Being a senior at Westborough High School, at any high school really, is a big deal. Its a rite of passage. An end of one journey and the final preparation for another. The days of looking up to older students and watching them get into colleges and run the high school are over. It is now the new seniors’ chance to be the oldest in the school, set the example and make their last year in high school unforgettable. Perks that come along with being a senior are special privileges that are bestowed upon students after a long three years of high school waiting till they finally reach the top. However these privileges have been scaled down or eliminated all together through the years, and many students are not happy.

For many years it has been a foregone conclusion that seniors get special privileges. Some schools don’t hold back and let students leave school for lunch and have special parking spaces just for them. Seniors begin their final year anxious to get advantages that prove to them that they really are at the top of the schools food chain, but more and more schools are cutting down on these privileges. Most students think it is the school administration setting these new rules – it is not. Instead, the law has taken over and forbidden many privileges that could of and have been given to seniors. Mr. Dodson, a teacher who has been teaching photography at Westborough High School for over 20 years, says, “Most of the differences occurred when the state changed the law, and focused more on time and learning. So some of the senior privileges, which the kids think that the mean principal took away from them, were really taken away by the state. Now the state requires that everyone go to school so and so many hours a day, and they make no differentiation between seniors, juniors, sophomores or freshmen. ” He also said that seniors were allowed to leave school 6th period if they did not have a class a few years ago, but after the state changed the law it was forbidden. These new rules were not only for Westborough High School, but for all the schools across the state of Massachusetts.

Although many students claim that Westborough High School has been stripped of special benefits for seniors, there are in fact many privileges that go unnoticed by the classes of WHS. For example, senior ball in the spring, project graduation on graduation night, special dances only for upperclassmen and senior sweatshirts and t-shirts. When asked what privileges seniors mostly would want, the majority said an open campus, where they could leave school for lunch and classes if they were allowed. Isabelle Nichols, a senior at Westborough High School, says “I wish we could leave school for lunch. This is our last year, and I think we should be able to make the best out of it. I don’t see what the problem is as long as we all get back on time.” Among other wishes were no midterms or finals, special “seniors only” parking spaces, a field day on the first day of school and an official senior skip day. Westborough High School used to have a field day on the first day of school, but the management realized that people were getting bored after half the day, and decided to throw in some classes on the first day of school also, much to the objection of the seniors.

Although school management can set rules for seniors about what they can and cannot do, the senior body themselves can still make the best out of their senior year. They can plan an amazing and unforgettable senior ball, go to and enjoy the dances, and not let the stress of college get to them. If the school puts limits on student privileges, it’s up to the students to fight back by making the most out of the privileges they are offered and to leave there mark on Westborough High School. Figuratively of course.