Ask Margot: What are some unspoken rules for underclassmen to know about campus culture?


Margot Gwynn, Staff Writer

When Seattle Prep students cross the threshold of being underclassmen to being upperclassmen, they gain certain privileges reserved for those who have endured the first two years of high school. As the year progresses, underclassmen come to realize the rights possessed by Juniors and Seniors; they inevitably learn some of the unspoken rules that apply to the student body.  

For example, an infamous Prep tradition is wearing “Senior skirts”. Senior girls sport the classic bright blue pleated skirts with a single white stripe to show their school pride on spirit days and during football games. Although they are very stylish, they must only be worn by Seniors. The tradition continues to be sacred because only Seniors can wear them; they’ve earned the right to do so.  

When it comes to school assemblies, when each grade level separates to their designated bleachers, Seniors and Juniors have the privilege of sitting on the floor in front of their section. Although it can be difficult to cram into the bleachers and it’s tempting to be closer to all the action happening in the center of the gym, it’s considerate to refrain from using the floor in front to sit. The transition from each set of bleachers according to one’s grade level is very symbolic, and the floor privilege coincides with that procedure.  

As trends fly around campus, one thing sticks. Upperclassmen often choose to carry around their school supplies in tote bags, while Freshmen and Sophomores opt for classic backpacks. Backpacks are more common for underclassmen to use because of how much space they contain, which helps haul around the many books and notebooks Freshmen and Sophomores need for their classes. Once students master material management and need fewer physical items, they take the next step and graduate to using tote bags and flaunt their style around campus. While tote bags easily consolidate materials, they also act as an identifier of one’s experience and grade level.  

When it comes to lunch spots, Prep is known to have many great options of where to eat. Seniors and Juniors favor the Great Room and love enjoying the view the Terrace provides when the weather warms up. If you’re an underclassman, it’s recommended that you eat and buy food in another area, such as the Cafeteria or the Commons.  

There may seem to be no reasoning or rationality for these unspoken rules, but as you progress through high school, you’ll realize their importance. They all add to the experience of being a Prep Panther and make being an upperclassman a special and unique time. Best of luck Prepsters.