Advice to Freshmen: Respect Seniors!

When I was a freshman at Western Reserve Academy, I feared the seniors. They were intimidating, big, and just scary. I never wanted to do anything to cross them, or make them mad. But now, as a senior, I find myself noticing that most underclassmen don’t even bat an eye at seniors and our privileges.

I know that to some of you this might seem petty. And yes, it is. We go to an expensive boarding school where we all wear blazers, kilts, and ties. So I think I’m allowed to be petty about this.

When I became a senior, I wondered why the fourth-years should be respected more. Are we more intelligent? I don’t think I would be the first to say no, we’re just not. Is it because we’re the oldest? Being younger than some of the juniors, I would have to say that that probably isn’t the reason either. So I’m going to pull the tradition card in this argument. Seniors have seniority, so they should have priority. We should be able to sit at the front tables of Ellsworth at lunch time, and sit on the carpet, and leave the Chapel first. Why? It’s tradition, and because it’s tradition, it’s fun.

I knew that when I became a senior, sitting in the front pews of the Chapel was no big deal. But it was cool. Can I see a bit better? No, I sit behind Derrick Hampton ’17. But do I feel cool? Yes. And as dumb as it sounds, I think that’s why we need seniority. It gives you, as an underclassman, something to look forward to. My freshman year, I wanted to be a senior. But everyone has to wait. And through that waiting I think we develop some respect for WRA’s traditions. Of course, I don’t think this tradition entails hazing, or violence, or overall stupidity. I just think that it makes things more exciting. You wait four, or however many, years to have the best year of your Reserve career, and that waiting makes it better.

So, underclassmen, if I could give you one piece of advice: just stop complaining. Because one day, you’ll be sitting in the front row of the Chapel, and be outraged that some stupid junior is trying to walk out of the Chapel in front of you. Or, you’ll yell at a freshman and demand he carry out the cones and ball bag to practice because “you’ve already done your share.” In however many years, you will all be in the same place that we seniors are in. You’ll want to be respected, well, just because. So why not? Let us have the front row and the couches, you’ll have it soon enough anyway. And honestly, you will probably have it better.

-Zanna Leciejewsky ’17

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