By Olivia Scaglione
By the time the second semester rolls around, most seniors have already heard back from college or are waiting for a decision. Therefore, many have “senioritis” and feel a decline in their motivation for their final year of academics. From writing with chalk on the sidewalks before the first day of school to wearing blackout t-shirts during the first week, there are many special traditions that the seniors participate in. But perhaps the most controversial of all is Senior Skip Day, which occurs twice during the second semester: the day after the Super Bowl and the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Many ask, however, is Senior Skip Day a memorable tradition or an unnecessary absence?
As I talked to various Byram Hills seniors, I received mixed responses. Some felt that Senior Skip Day is an unnecessary and wasted absence, while others feel quite differently. Senior Emma Freund told me that she thinks the day “is an excuse for students to do not good things.” Freund believes that Senior Skip Day is a day devoted to seniors to make bad decisions. Moreover, if the administration does not receive a medical note, the student will be given detention. Also, if an athlete does not attend school, they will not be allowed to participate in practice, which in turn can affect playing time in games. Lindsay Morris, a graduate from Byram Hills who now attends Tulane University, stated that “Senior Skip Day was so much fun and is a great memory of senior year.” She did note, however, “in hindsight…it was an unnecessary absence since everyone was forced to sit in detention, which was annoying.” Morris also added that “there are plenty of other times to hang out with friends while not skipping school.” Is skipping for one day really worth all of this trouble?
For some, the answer is “YES!” Some feel that Senior Skip Day is one of the many great memories of senior year and this outweighs the negatives that are associated with it. Senior Juliet Capriglione explained that the two Senior Skip Days are only two days out of the year and in order to not miss a school sports events due to their absence, students can “come in for four periods, get credit, and still take part in this fun, senior memory.” Capriglione’s solution seems like a happy compromise between attending school while still participating in this special day. Juliet also says that “the seniors deserve to relax after working so hard all through high school and therefore it is not an unnecessary absence.” In addition, senior Willy Samsen says that “Senior Skip Day is very memorable because it’s the seniors last semester of high school ever together and it is always fun when your whole grade is out of school at the same time.” Samsen also adds that “this day is so memorable because everyone usually hangs out together.” Therefore, Senior Skip Day remains a tradition because of its ability to unite the students before they leave for college.
Despite the debate of whether Senior Skip Day is an unnecessary absence or not, everyone can agree that throughout their four years of high school, the graduating class has worked hard and should enjoy their senior year. Many seniors feel their last year of high school flying by; however, what makes senior year so special is creating memories with the peers that you’ve known since kindergarten for the last time. Senior Skip Day, regardless of the two sides, is one of the fun memories of senior year. So, let’s try to embrace it!