Senior school spirit
We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, how about you?
Starr’s Mill pride is everywhere. From flashes of Carolina blue, black and white moving about the halls to the echoing cheers of the cheerleaders and fans at sporting events, Panther pride seems to flow through the student body. However, there seem to be different definitions of school pride, and some students value this concept of high school camaraderie more than others. Overall, how much spirit do the seniors have? Does this surge of Panther pride continue to grow the longer a student is in high school, or do people stop caring?
“Seniors are responsible for being examples for every other student in the school,” class of 2017 co-treasurer Angela Ricketts said. “Seniors have been at the school the longest; therefore, they are the most involved. They set an example for other people to become involved and therefore show more people how to have school spirit.” The majority of the senior class attended Rising Starr or came to the Mill as underclassmen, fostering a deeper connection to the so-called “Panther Nation.”
Senior Kyle Evert agrees that the senior class’s spirit hits a high point during its last year at the Mill. “Being a senior affects my school spirit because people now rely on us to set the example,” he said. “We play a vital role in the school’s spirit altogether.” The influence of the infamous senioritis seems to fall short when it comes to school pride. The added pressure of college applications and standardized testing doesn’t seem to put a damper on the seniors’ excitement to make their last year memorable and to “Make 17 Count.”
“I wanna be able to look back and say I cared and enjoyed myself during senior year,” senior Kevan Kadkodian said. “Participating in senior traditions is an awesome way for our whole class to band together and celebrate our last year of high school in the best way possible.” While traditions such as Toga Day, College Day, and painting up are exclusive for the seniors, Kadkodian mentions that school spirit and genuine Panther pride are not limited to the Class of 2017. “I like being a Panther because I know I’m representing a great school both academically and athletically,” he said. All students have the opportunity to feel connected to Starr’s Mill by participating in its various sports, organizations and extra-curricular activities, but this is the senior class’s last chance to enjoy everything the school has to offer.
When it comes to the senior experience, there is more to school spirit than the sea of blue, black and white. The class of 2017 is connected on a personal level, linking students of all types together. “School spirit doesn’t necessarily mean wearing the school colors,” senior Sofia Quiñones said. “It means getting together with your peers, whether you’re friends or not, and sharing a common interest or activity. It’s a way to have fun as a community and not just a clique.”
These activities and similar interests that bond the seniors together span from sports to academics to community service to extra-curricular activities. Class officers play a role in strengthening the student body’s spirit through promoting these various interest areas. “As an officer, I instill school spirit into students by encouraging them to come to school activities such as football games, musicals and other events put on by the school,” Ricketts said. She also encourages students to follow an assortment of passions and interests, “which allows students to have a sense of togetherness with other students and gives them more school spirit.”
Seniors at the Mill show that they know what school spirit is and how to show that they have it. But why? At the root of it all, this allegiance bonds students with one another. Each senior is currently walking through the same stroke of life, undergoing similar experiences and feeling similar emotions, which unifies the class as one. “We show spirit because we can come together as a school and as a community to show each other support and friendship,” senior Derek Camacho said. “With school spirit, students can then feel like they are part of a bigger family, giving them new friendships and a drive to not only succeed themselves but help others succeed as well.”