Senior Superlatives can be a popularity contest


Photo taken by Abigail Ben

Abigail Ben

Each year, seniors recognize some unique qualities that set them apart from their graduating class. However, many of the survey questions highlight traits that can act as a popularity contest.

Senior superlatives offer the student body power to reflect on their high school career and select their peers for curated awards. It is known as an honorable way to pay tribute to students for their achievements and attributes. This high school tradition is a fun way for the senior class to celebrate the time they had together. 

At Centennial, a few months before the graduating class leaves high school, the students in the Yearbook class start to brainstorm ideas. They conduct research for ideas by looking at past books, the internet, and try to find out what other schools in the county are doing. Centennial Yearbook Advisor Kristin Lavender says that they “also try to present superlatives that might offer opportunities for kids in all ‘groups’ here at Centennial to be recognized.”

Ava Welsh, a senior in the Yearbook class, mentions that “if students are very involved in student life especially like going to games or very involved in yearbook, I feel like that gets the final say in who wins the superlative.”

Yearbook strives to ensure everyone is recognized in each graduating class, but assigns awards of subjective categories that can’t possibly have one winner. This creates a massive popularity contest. In agreement, Ava Welsh adds “I definitely would say it is kind of like a popularity vote at the end of the day.”

The word popularity has a lot of negative connotations. People tend to associate popularity with being extroverted, attractive, and well-liked. But popularity also has to do with being known by peers. There is no way to have a fair voting process without the candidates being elected or chosen because they are known by the voters. 

You don’t vote for someone that you don’t know. Therefore, if popularity is defined as being well-known, it is an unavoidable factor. Senior Philip Heleba, also the winner of  the ‘Best Road Trip Partner’ superlative agreed, saying that “there’s certain troubles with just voting people based on who your friends are rather than who really deserves to win that.”

Although senior superlatives are undoubtedly a popularity contest, they are also a fun way to celebrate the achievements our senior class has, and commend those who are well known for excelling in certain ways. 


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