The Experimental Class of 2023

What’s the difference between the seniors and some guinea pigs?

Ever since eighth grade, when the school replaced the annual Six Flags trip with a trip to Camp Widjiwagan, the Class
of 2023 has felt like Adam, Bree and Chase. If you don’t get the reference, it’s from a show called “Lab Rats”, a good nickname for the seniors.

2019 was the start of the senior’s freshman year, and when all seemed to be going well, COVID-19 hit in March 2020 and everything stopped. With this, we slowly saw the Class of 2023 fall into what feels like an endless hole of frustration.

Next came junior year. That year, we weren’t given a Junior Retreat even though pretty much all of the COVID restrictions had been lifted. Then, to top it off, the eighth grade St. Louis trip had been brought back for the Class of 2026.

Now this year, the Junior Retreat has been reinstated for the Class of 2024. On top of that, the Upper School lounge was off limits as it was turned into the robotics practice area. Now, it is a conference room.

Nearing the end of junior year, the Class of 2023 began to prepare for the long awaited choosing of the prefects for our senior year. Prefects are seniors chosen to represent certain aspects of our school community such as student connections, academics, diversity, athletics, chapel and the arts. Everyone was excited to see who the student body would elect to represent them at a higher leadership level, but when the time came, we were all blindsided.

The administration announced through an email that there would be an application process and that the students could only apply for one prefect position. The year before, you could apply to multiple prefect positions. On top of that,
students did not have a voice in electing their prefects; this was up to the past prefect of that position to choose.

In years past, a Google Form would be sent out to the Upper School, with every senior’s name listed under each of the prefect positions they wanted to run for. The student body would then vote for who they wanted to represent them in those positions.

The Class of 2023 felt utterly blindsided by this change and wasn’t sure how it would work. It felt like the faculty was also confused on how the process should work. Multiple seniors have said that in their interviews for prefect, the prefect in the position they were interviewing for wasn’t even there, and the amount of people in their interviews varied from person to person.

Prefects weren’t the only leadership positions that we were robbed of.

Typically, the Bleacher Creatures will their titles to the rising seniors. But this year that changed. Rather than making a decision based solely on the input of last year’s Bleacher Creatures, the decision was made by the Athletic
Department while taking into account the last Bleacher Creatures’ suggestions.

Along with Prefects and Bleacher Creatures, as seniors, we’ve grown and evolved in more ways than just through our leadership. We’ve also grown creatively. The last four years have been spent building up our own individual styles and finding what works for us and makes us stand out.

So when the school announced that we would be transitioning into uniforms for the 2022-2023 school year, a lot of students were understandably upset. No group of students, however, were more upset by this than the Class of 2023.

While there were a few students ready for the change, the majority were not fans of having to spend at least 100 dollars on uniforms for only one year of high school. This is yet another way the senior class feels we’ve been cheated.

It’s not just about the uniforms though. As I said earlier, leadership positions and trips have been taken away from us. Even if it is all just one big coincidence, it still hurts to feel like your class has been kicked to the curb in favor of others.

There’s probably plenty of other things that the Class of 2023 has had taken away from them, but in the end, it’s our final year and after feeling like we’ve been kicked around, we’re just glad to be graduating and starting the next chapter of our lives.