As students go through all four years of high school, they make friends, decide who they want to be and build bonds with teachers and faculty, and there’s always grief when you must leave the school where you’ve spent the previous years.
Some feel that when they leave, the school just forgets about them, and so, they try to make it so that their legacy stays even after they’ve gone. Through a variety of different means, seniors try to preserve their legacies. Three of the most common ways they try to do this are through senior pranks, mentorships and visits back to the school after they’ve graduated.
Senior pranks are the most radical of the three. In 2011, the graduating class of seniors in Brooklyn Technical High School burned a toilet inside of the boys’ bathroom. The students of the school remembered the event by making it the cover photo of both their school page and their own personal pages. The graduating class of 2011 lives without fear of ever being forgotten because they did something no other graduating class had tried. They not only preserved the legacy of their class in Brooklyn Tech, but elsewhere as news of their triumph spread virally across to other high schools around New York. Though the prank doesn’t need to be as creative as that of the seniors at Brooklyn Tech, it helps to give faculty and remaining students something funny to remember.
The students that have less free time or more fear of corporal punishment become mentors or big siblings and teach the new classes of incoming students what they’ve learned in their four years of being a student. The graduating class improves upon the quality of the school by having freshmen avoid the immature mistakes they made or by showing them the shortcuts they took whether in or outside of school. According to Rakiyah Ferguson, the practice of being a big sibling and model student at Beacon High School “helps me solidify myself in my community so that the younger generation tries to do better than [me] and remembers what I did for them.”
Visiting the school after you graduate is the least amount of work. It doesn’t require someone putting himself or herself in harm’s way like with a senior prank or spending time teaching freshmen not to be freshmen. Visiting the school allows students to update teachers on their lives so that they’re not forgotten. Teachers and students are able to remember the time they spent together in class or in clubs, removing the fear of being just another forgotten class in the high school yearbook.