Seniority Rules- Or Does It?

Seniority Rules- Or Does It?

As everybody should know by now, seniors pretty much run this school, and most of the underclassmen- whether they’ll admit to it or not- are terrified of them. I know I was. It’s tough being a sophomore on a brand-new campus with the seemingly invincible and obviously frightening seniors everywhere. As a sophomore, I can honestly say that the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do was sing a really difficult song in front of fifteen or sixteen seniors.

I take musical theater as an elective, which is an upperclassman-dominant class. One of the things we’re required to do for that course is perform for the class either a dance number, a monologue, or a song. I consider myself fairly able to carry a tune, so I went with a song. I chose I Know Where I’ve Been from the musical “Hairspray,” and let me tell you- that’s no easy song. This song requires you to make noises lower than the bottom of the Grand Canyon, then jump up to notes that could shatter a wineglass in less than half a nanosecond. Luckily, I used this song in a competition before, so I knew it like the back of my hand. The only stumbling block I coud see was getting up where people could see me and actually singing it.

After a couple of the seniors had thoroughly terrified me by singing their songs perfectly, I made the mistake of mentioning to my friend next to me that maybe I might want to possibly go next. So, naturally, she grabbed my hand, shot it into the air like a rocket, and screamed, “McKenna wants to go next!” Unfortunately, my teacher noticed this blatant act of betrayal on my friend’s part, and said, “Okay, sure, McKenna can go next.”

I shot a threatening look at my friend, then I stood up. “Hi, my name’s McKenna, and I’m going to be singing I Know Where I’ve Been from the musical ‘Hairspray’,” I squeaked.

Immediately, one of the seniors that I was intimidated most by said, “Ooh, I love that song!” and sat down right smack in front of me.


As soon as my music began, I started to get really nervous. My heart seemed to leap up into my ears and beat in double time. I don’t even know how I got the starting note out of my throat.

But then, the strangest thing happened.

The seniors smiled.

The seniors. The same intimidating, vicious creatures who had looked ready to eat me alive the moment before. These same people were smiling at me. I couldn’t help but smile back.

Before I had even finished singing that last, long, glass-shattering note, everybody stood up and cheered for me. I was overcome with a mixture of relief and euphoria. By the time I sat back down, I had subconsciously changed my entire outlook on seniors. In that moment, I realized this groundbreaking fact:

Seniors are humans, too.

They’re not monsters. They’re not walking personifications of God. And they’re definitely not out to get me. They’re human- just like I am. I’ve finally realized that there’s no need to be scared of them.

So, here’s a word of advice to the incoming freshmen: If a senior ever tries to push you around like they’re the King of the World, just smile at them and walk away. Because now you know their secret.