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There is an unspoken hierarchy of seniority in every high school. At Townsend Harris, seniors enjoy special privileges not granted to underclassmen. For example, seniors have free periods throughout the day, which provide time for them to relax, hang out with friends, catch up on assignments, or concentrate on extracurricular activities they love to do outside of school. There is also the senior lounge, an exclusive haven in which many seniors spend their free periods. Events such as the senior trip and prom are also reserved only for seniors. While I personally am thankful for many of my privileges as a senior, the problem lies in the fact that many seniors use these privileges to justify a sense of snobbery directed at the underclassmen. These advantages should not be used to encourage the idea that seniors are better than underclassmen in any way.
The only difference between seniors and underclassmen is that seniors have been in the school for a longer period of time than the underclassmen. But is this really a reason to look down on them? Seniors were all once freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. The claim that seniors have earned these privileges or special status just because they have been around for longer is absurd. All the underclassmen will eventually become seniors and enjoy the same privileges—they are not just granted to one graduating class.
The leadership positions many seniors have in various extracurricular activities may lead them to the misconception that they are immediately above the underclassmen in terms of skill or capability. It is true that seniors often possess more knowledge in various areas than the underclassmen simply because they have been at Townsend for a longer period than the underclassmen. However, this does not give them the right to disparage the underclassmen. Rather, seniors should be acting as helpful mentors and role models. In fact, seniors should always be ready to learn from the underclassmen.
This humble and open mentality will only help seniors once they graduate and head off to college. As they begin their freshman year, they will find themselves back at the bottom of the assumed social and academic hierarchy. It won’t be pleasant to be treated condescendingly by college upperclassmen, so why do the same to the underclassmen at THHS now?