To Skip or Not to Skip?

Senior Skip Day - from the perspective of someone who didn't skip

The+senior+class+gathered+at+Kyleigh+Ford%27s+house+for+breakfast+on+Senior+Skip+Day.

Terry Straub

The senior class gathered at Kyleigh Ford's house for breakfast on Senior Skip Day.

On Monday, Feb. 24, the seniors participated in a classic high school tradition: Senior Skip Day. Having decided spontaneously the night before to have Senior Skip Day on this Monday because it was during MSHSAA’s (Missouri State High School Activities Association) “Dead Week,” meaning less students would need to be at school because of mandatory practices, the senior class managed to pull off a surprisingly successful skip day — one that many teachers called one of the most unified skip days they’d ever seen at Westminster, and one that will certainly go down in the books as a triumph for the seniors.

Because the seniors decided Monday would be Senior Skip Day only the night before, the absence of about 85 percent of the senior class on Monday certainly came as a shock to the teachers, who came out of their classrooms at 7:55 on Monday morning, confused as to why the hallway and commons were completely vacant. It didn’t take long to figure out that the seniors weren’t showing up, but unlike most past years, not a single teacher had suspected that students were going to skip that day.

While most of the seniors chose to spend the day sharing breakfast at Kyleigh Ford’s house, driving around with their friends, and attending a movie together, there were a few students who still showed up to their classes on Monday. For some, it was because they simply found themselves out of the loop, not having caught up with the class group chat, and for others, it was because their parents were against the idea, because they had simply missed too many days of school already, or because they didn’t want to get behind in their classes.

I was one of those few seniors who showed up to an empty hallway and seven quiet classrooms. Personally, I had three reasons for not skipping: I was a little worried about my grades and any consequences (I’ll admit it, I’m definitely a rule-follower), I didn’t want to get behind in AP biology since we had a test on Thursday and I knew Dr. Winchester would continue with our notes (I don’t blame her!), and most importantly, because most of my friends had chosen not to skip.

Do I regret coming to school on Senior Skip Day? No, not really. I was able to have some fun and even meaningful conversations with my teachers and the few other kids in each of my classes, I got to see Alyssa Legters throw a pie in Ethan Storer’s face for Dr. Holley’s birthday, I got ahead in some of my classes, and I spent the day in a quiet hallway, playing hangman and laughing about the situation with the other seniors who showed up.

But here’s the thing, if my friends had been willing to skip with me, I would absolutely not have come. I would’ve spent the day blasting music in the car, eating junk food with the Spice Girls (you know who you are), savoring every moment of that one precious day, and feeling just a little bit guilty. 

Yes, it’s just one day. But that’s not really the point. The point is, high school is coming to an end. These are our last few months — our last few moments to soak up the memories with our crazy friends, to stay up late laughing about our middle school selves, to take pictures we’ll look back on in 30 years and show our kids, to make new friends with those people we’ve never talked to, and to take advantage of what it’s like to be young and in high school.

A lot of people say Senior Skip Day is silly or irresponsible — afterall, in ten years, when we have families, kids, and careers, we probably aren’t going to remember every single detail of this day. And I’m sure we’ll all have a lot more important things to be thinking about anyways. But I do think I’ll look back and think to myself that what was really important was the memories and the people, and I’ll bet that I’ll wish I had just taken the chance and skipped. Because it’s really not that big of a deal.

So, what am I even saying? Every senior has to weigh the risks and the rewards. Is it worth the risk? Well, that’s up to you. Although I can’t really say whether it is or not since I didn’t skip, it seems to me that most of the seniors simply decided to put memories and friendships before school for a day. And I can’t really blame them for that. 

So, if the juniors decide to skip next year, then they should take a day to spend together as a class and make memories, whether it’s doing a service project together or just going to see a movie.

I’m saying that high school goes by so fast, that this is a time like no other, and that more than anything, these are the memories you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. You’re probably not going to remember that fourth hour math class you missed, but you will remember your friends and the times you shared together, and maybe you’ll have a good story to share with your grandkids.