Unspoken Rules and Traditions at SSSAS: a guide to the 2022s and beyond
By Andrew Kiama '19
October 2018 Issue
Freshman year of high school - a year of constant discovery, occasional embarrassment, and ensured inferiority. This year, the 2022s have the job of occupying that role, and the 2019s have the privilege of watching over them. But don’t be fooled, we were once freshman too! The 2015s were our guide to high school, and they taught us well, both things we voluntarily learned and things we were forcibly taught.
Now, as seniors ourselves, it’s our turn to teach the culture at SSSAS. As a member of the Class of 2019, I have collaborated with my peers to come up with a list of unspoken rules and traditions that can be found at our school. Some of these have been constant since our freshman year, but some have been lost over the years, so we want to make sure the current freshman and underclassmen are aware of them all.
I begin with the fun and quirky traditions:
Whenever you see a senior walk up to the podium for a chapel talk, get ready for overly dramatic clapping by their peers once you hear, “hi, my name is _____, and I’m a senior!”
When Mr. Doyle comes on stage during an October morning meeting to announce that the PSAT is coming up, the sophomores and juniors should expect much ridicule and laughter from the seniors who no longer have to take that dreaded PSAT.
The crowd at Sleepy Thompson gets huge, loud, hyped up, and most of all, packed. One thing you will always hear is seniors yelling at the freshmen to move further up the bleachers to make space for themselves, even if there's barely any space to move. Regardless, we still expect you to figure it out and actually move.
Freshmen members of varsity teams must make the announcement about a team's Senior Night in front of the entire school community, a mere 500 people, during morning meeting. Make it interesting and don’t stutter. It’s for your own good.
Once you make an announcement during morning meeting, return to your seat using the stairs, not the narrow corridor you came from. If you don’t, kindly expect 400 students to yell “staaaaaaaaairs” at you. It's not personal, just take the stairs.
During academic convocations, when the freshmen are up to receive recognition for their academic achievements, expect the entire senior class to turn around and smile at them while they stand to their names being called out.
I continue with some rules that everyone is expected to follow:
Aside from the dining hall, freshman eat under the main staircase. Do not eat in the junior or seniors hallways. They’re called the junior and senior hallways for a reason.
The senior lounge is strictly off limits during the school day to anyone who won’t graduate in June of 2019. Until you see the arms of the hallway clocks strike 3:30 pm, preferably 4:00 pm, don’t even think about coming inside the lounge.
The main hallway is just wide enough to handle the 400+ students walking through it between classes. When a bunch of freshman suddenly stop and clump up in groups in the middle of the hallway, it disrupts everyone trying to get on with their day. If you’re a freshman, do not stand in the middle of the hallway just because all your friends are there. Keep walking, you can see your friends at another point in time.
The student section of the parking lot has been divided by students over the generations. Sophomores, you park on the road, juniors park on the strip, and the lot itself is for seniors. Junior strip, senior lot. Remember that.
Clean up your food. Don’t leave your plates everywhere and if you have any food left, throw it in the compost bin. It's our responsibility to clean up after ourselves, not the kitchen staff.
And I conclude with a shared message from all seniors:
The following has been something our entire class has noticed over our four years at the Upper School. When we were freshman, we weren’t hazed or bullied, but we had certain respect and admiration for the seniors. They were older, more mature, and more experienced. Most importantly, they were in their last year of high school and that deserved respect.
Now, we ask for the same. Many freshmen “now waltz into high school thinking they know it all and show no respect or even a little bit of fear towards the upperclassmen” is something I’ve heard from my peers one too many times. To be clear, we’re not asking for one-way respect. We are asking for increased mutual respect. We want to be the people you come to with problems, ideas, and we want to be your friends. All we ask for is some respect and space while we maneuver through our last year at SSSAS and guide you and rest of the school in the best manner possible.
This piece was a joint effort by the Class of 2019 and the staff of The Voice. It is not endorsed by the St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School administration.
Andrew Kiama ‘19
Comments? Contact Andrew @firstname.lastname@example.org