As we know, the differences between freshmen and seniors are sometimes staggering. A four year difference in age at the time of puberty and development is a big deal. The seniors would like to forget that they were once freshmen and the freshman wish they could be seniors. Or so we assume.
I wanted to shed a light on the details of those differences in relation to Logan High School specifically because when it comes to Logan High traditions, freshman and seniors have very different views. The most prevalent difference between freshmen and seniors seems to be the amount of school spirit, if that can really be measured.
So I’ve asked a group of students from each class the same questions to see how they would each respond, starting with students’ favorite Logan High School traditions. The responses overwhelmingly had something to do with homecoming week. Honking on the L, Tie-dye on the lawn, the Homecoming football game, and the spirit bridge of years past all appeared in students’ answers. Homecoming is often the first tradition - or group of traditions - that LHS students think of when we say the word ‘tradition’ in the context of our high school experience. There has been a lot of talk about traditions in general surrounding Logan High - spurred on by the 100th anniversary of the school in 2016. And I found that when it comes to the difference between freshmen and seniors there isn’t much of one in this area. Each student I interviewed had a favorite tradition and most of them happened during the five days dedicated to Homecoming.
Students also agreed that they like going to football and basketball games along with other sports games. However, that is where the easy data ends. Aspects like the school song, school merch, and friendship with teachers have much more varying responses.
When asked if they know the song, Neath the Crest, and if they sing it responses varied from, “Yes, I love singing the school song,” said by senior, Kyle Truex, to, “No. I don’t like it,” said by an anonymous freshman. There was a gradual decrease in love of our school song as the classes went from senior to freshman. 63% of interviewees said they know the school song but only 50% said they like to sing it all the time. Our seniors said they love it, but our freshmen said they just don’t know it yet, which is understandable.
As the topic of school spirit shifts to outward appearance I had to ask the students how many clothing items from Logan High they owned. As we know, the more involved you are in school activities the more t-shirts add up in your closet. A seasoned Grizzly generally ends up with a crimson wardrobe by the end of their senior year; which is generally the data that I collected. Naturally the freshman had very few Logan High School t-shirts because they haven’t been in school for very long. And on the other end of the spectrum, our seniors seemed to have acquired quite the stack. Being on teams, clubs, or in other groups throughout Logan High seems to be the determining factor in whether students had a plethora of crimson in their closet or not. Simply put, one of our seniors said she has, “A lot.” And one of the freshman said, “I barely have one.” So maybe the evolution of freshman to senior is less about their attitude towards school spirit and more about the ever growing mound of Grizzly merch.
However, when evolution comes into play, along with stereotypes, teacher-student interaction comes to the top of the list. It has long been a stigma that freshmen are scared of all their teachers but as they grow into seniors they become more at ease and tend to be friends with multiple teachers. And today there will be no bursting of that stereotype. 100% of the seniors and juniors that were interviewed said that they are friends with at least one of their teachers. 50% of the sophomores said they had a friendly relationship with their teachers. And only 25% of the freshmen said they were friends with a teacher. Naturally there are exceptions to the rule; seniors who don’t feel close with a single teacher, and freshmen that are friends with every single one. But the general data shows that this stereotype comes from a general truth.
As a student grows from fish to shark they learn some things along the way. Maybe pride in school spirit comes with age, loss of dignity, or loss of hiding behind a mask of indifference. Whatever the hidden philosophical or psychological reasons, the basics are true: freshmen change a lot before they call themselves seniors, and seniors look back a lot on all their changes. We are all just students trying our best and maybe that means we aren’t so different at all.