Senior Best? Or Senior Popularity Contest?


Photo by: Harrison Schneider

Senior Best winners pose for their Yearbook pictures

Katie Sullivan

“Senior Bests” is a big deal for most seniors and as a lot of students see it, it’s just a huge popularity contest. Senior Bests award seniors for possessing specific qualities, as voted on by their classmates, and they appear in the yearbook. Typical categories are Most Athletic, Best Smile, etc. Most high school students can admit to dreaming of being considered for yearbook’s Senior Bests while almost all of them don’t even make it to the ballot. Those voting for Senior Bests don’t seem to take into consideration who is actually possesses that quality the most; rather, they focus more on who they know or how many followers they have on social media.
Social media plays a big role in who wins and senior Keiran Althaus, Homecoming King and member of the yearbook staff, says that, “… probably all of them (nominees) used social media, either their accounts or friends’, to promote themselves.” When asked if he used social media to promote himself for Homecoming King, Althaus admitted to using Instagram, Facebook and his friends to help him win. The more followers you have, the better your odds are at winning and I’m confident the majority of seniors used any and all forms of social media to win.
People don’t usually vote for who the most worthy is, they vote for who they know best. What if there’s a perfect fit for “Prettiest Eyes” or “Biggest Treehugger” and you don’t know because they don’t flaunt it? Voting for Senior Best just fuels the nominees’ ego and makes them feel like they’re better than everyone else because they have features not everyone else possesses, when in reality they are just more well known than the other people who deserve it (in most cases).
Imagine a girl that goes to the beach almost everyday after school, she is a lifeguard during summer and she surfs but doesn’t have a Facebook and because she doesn’t have hundreds of followers on Instagram. The winner of “Most Likely to be Found at The Beach” goes to whomever promotes themselves best, right? What about the people that honestly don’t want to “toot their own horn”? Odds are, there’s usually people more qualified they just don’t flaunt it like the people that get nominated do.