The History of Important Senior Traditions

Kevin Callahan, Deputy Editor, Feature

With the welcoming of a new senior class this past month, excitement and interest surrounding senior traditions is already circulating. Senior traditions, both at MHS and high schools nationwide, act as a way to facilitate and solidify a culture and community among seniors. Some traditions, like Senior Skip Day or pranks, are common elsewhere, while others are more unique to Minnetonka High School, like the iconic blue-and-white-striped bibs or Senior Sunrise. Some of these traditions have been around for decades—both at MHS and beyond—passed down through the years from the older to the younger classes. But, this begs the question, why do people continue to participate in these traditions? What made these traditions so popular in the first place, and why do they remain so popular now? To understand this, let’s take a look at the history of some of the most popular traditions. 

Senior Sunrise, one tradition popular at MHS, was held this year on Monday, September 13. During this event, students gather on the football field at 6:30 am to watch the sunrise together. The time acts as a welcoming of the new school year and gives seniors a chance to bond over coffee and breakfast in a carefree, laidback environment. 

Lizzy Del Monte, ‘22, described this year’s Sunrise as a “good experience” and praised the opportunity for “lots of bonding.” Del Monte also recalled how good it was to see everyone. 

Another wildly popular tradition is wearing “bibs”—blue-and-white-striped overalls— to sporting events, primarily football. Many seniors wear their bibs to school before the game to show school spirit. In conjunction with the bibs, it is also popular to incorporate elements of that night’s theme into your outfit. For example, if the theme for the night’s game is the USA, a senior might wear an American-themed shirt, accessory, or makeup look. The bibs are an effective, distinctive and direct way to set seniors apart from underclassmen. 

Ady Phillips, ‘22, said that she wears bibs to games as a way to feel “connected” with her classmates. 

Another widely practiced senior tradition is Senior Skip Day. This event usually takes place near the end of the school year, when students can afford to skip class. Many students around the country also participate in senior pranks near the school year’s end. Pranks are usually planned throughout the year and carried out within the last two weeks of school. For example, the Class of 2021’s prank was a water balloon fight. 

The purpose of these senior traditions is to unify a senior class and help them bond, but it also creates a fun and exciting environment for students so they can enjoy their last year of high school. It is this element of fun and carefree nature of these traditions that keeps every generation of seniors coming back to them and keeps everyone excited to participate. Students don’t partake in them solely because they are told that they are traditional, but because the fun nature of the traditions excites people.