Editorial: “Senior superlatives: How is this still a thing?”


Why does every yearbook in the history of yearbooks run a senior survey section? Why do we spotlight who has the best hair and eyes in a vain and arrogant fashion? Why do we single people out for certain traits that show little to nothing about who they are?

We arbitrarily assign awards of subjective categories that can’t possibly have winners. We create a massive popularity contest and tell the winners that they are “Senior Superlatives.”

The categories are ridiculous. Many of the survey questions highlight traits that show nothing about who a person really is. “Best dressed,” “best eyes,” “best hair” and “most photogenic” (read: most attractive) are all meaningless.

Other categories demean the “winners” as “biggest drama queen/king” and “most likely to take a selfie.” No one wants to be remembered as the person who took everything too seriously, or the person constantly, narcissistically on a cell phone. These categories cruelly, and likely untruthfully, point out the features that we deam “bad” and showcase them for all to remember.

Other categories make no sense. What does “most likely to attend their high school reunion” even mean?

“Most likely to succeed” depends on how success is measured. Is it defined by happiness, or the number of real, personal, intimate relationships and the quality thereof? It seems likely that the winner of the category will be who we think, based on the accomplishments of a brief and premature four years, will live a financially carefree and stable life. We will likely determine this based on grades and extracurriculars. Future success, whatever that means, cannot be predicted by these types of accomplishments.

A popularity contest seems the wrong way to determine the “most artistic.” Is there even such a thing? We do not have personal enough knowledge of every musician at our school to determine even who we think is the “best musician,” even if that was something that could be measured.

Really, these artistic awards are given to the person who does some art and knows the most people. How were the artistic categories chosen? Were “best poet” and “best actor” omitted because they aren’t considered “superlative” arts?

But senior surveys are just a harmless tradition, right? All traditions run their time.

It’s time to end this materialistic categorization. It’s time to move away from meaningless, shallow compliments that the masses pay to people they don’t know, which only inflate the already sizeable egos of the winners of superficial awards. It’s time to stop assigning “bests” to people, when in reality, no “best” can be determined in such absurdly subjective categories.

It’s time to leave “Senior Superlatives” behind.

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