by Ivey McDaniel | Staff Writer

High school is a time to remember. From exciting firsts and awkward moments, to lessons learned, this it the time where teenagers become young adults. It’s hard to decide what you’re really going to remember high school by, but we are now provided with a couple of options to do so by. However, these traditions and forms of memorabilia have evolved over time, and it’s become difficult to decipher what holds worth.

Mums are a southern way of displaying your school spirit during the homecoming football game week. Many students jingled their way through the halls that friday, but the noisy bells, along with a few other accommodations, didn’t use to be there.

“We used real flowers and they were so pretty. There are more trinkets added to the mum itself, and now it’s decorated a lot more than we had,” mother Lori Ivey said.

Now, mum’s contain colors that aren’t of the school’s, they cover entire frontal bodies, and they aren’t just given to their date.

“Probably people just stopped caring. They feel as if they can express themselves through the different colors, but it’s really just about school spirit. They most likely give them to their friends as a gift. It almost signifies how much money you spent on their friends. They’ve definitely lost their significance over the years. I always though they were ridiculous,” a Michael’s craft store employee said.

Although the tradition has changed, Ivey feels it is better to be all inclusive.

“I do like the fact that if you don’t have a date, it is ok to wear one. When I was in high school, it was odd to have a mum and no date. I like the exchanging among friends. I think it’s fun and it shows the school’s spirit during homecoming week,” Ivey said

Class rings are a wearable reminder of your high school days. Sitting in the auditorium, juniors learned of the new features these rings reap. The rings are now customizable, everything is done online, and there isn’t just one style. You can, again, incorporate non-school colors, different metals, and include symbols from your personal and extra-curricular activity as well. Student have also noticed the change in price, which was a big determining factor for students purchasing one.

“I would never wear it and they were overpriced. I think college ring means more than a high school ring. It would be worth the cost [then],” junior Zac Ead said.

Other students’ opinions differ. The ring serves sentimental value for senior Katrina McNairy

“I got mine to always have a piece of my high school days with me. I wear it a lot, usually about every other day. It depends if I’m wearing silver or gold. Mine was cheap, so even if I didn’t wear it that much, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I think they have lost some significance. Graduating out of high school is a standard nowadays. College rings are much more important since less people graduate from them, get accepted, or even apply,” McNairy said.

Yearbooks are among the most popular ways to remember high school. Not only do the books provide a plethora of information about the student body and school, but they serve as a peer reference book.

“Purchasing a yearbook is important because it represents your high school experience. They have gone from black and white standard books to creative new books, that have the freshiest, innovative ideas,” junior yearbook staff member Raquel Kimm said.

But with social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, yearbook sales have fluctuated. Facebook now serves as a personal social search engine, which eliminates the need to look someone up, and provides more information on someone.

“I think Facebook definitely determined whether or not I got a yearbook, only because, if I stay in touch with people on the site, I really don’t care to look them up in the yearbook to remember memories I shared with them, but they will never go away. They’ve been around for so long and no matter how tech savvy the world gets, paper is always better then websites,” junior Arlyssa Cavazos said.

Lastly are letterman jackets. Originally sported by the Harvard baseball team, letterman jackets are a way to remember not only athletic, but now academic accomplishments. The jackets are no longer just for Ivy league, the pouffy jacket has trickled its way down to high schools and even middle schools.

“I got my jacket because I placed at a regional UIL meet. It was for Journalism- Headline Writing. I think it’s great that our district recognizes accomplishments in academics and fine arts in addition to athletic ability, and people take pride in wearing their jackets because they earned them and it shows school spirit. Since I didn’t have to go through the buying process, I was really surprised to get it based on academic achievement. It’s something that I really appreciate and will remember high school by,” former student Lauren Tsai said.

The rules differ from activity to activity.

“They haven’t really changed, they just use cheaper material. The district pays for the jacket, which is $40.00, and the students pay for the patches and everything else, which is about $150.00. The only thing that frustrates me is that they should have the same set of rules. Athletes are the only organization that can’t put their names on the back, but cheerleaders and band members can, and they also have a different color scheme,” volleyball coach Nichole Blakeman said.

Now, the tradition isn’t just limited to varsity sports player. Band members, cheerleaders, and dancers are allowed to purchase the jackets.

“I do believe spirit group members should be able to have jackets. They have a large time commitment that they put into their organization to support the school. Cheerleaders across the district have “Cheerleader” written across the backs of their jackets, and it’s been like that for many years, it’s been that way since I was a cheerleader in NEISD.  The cheerleaders purchase the jackets themselves, so that may play a part in it. Dance and cheerleading have both grown tremendously in the amount of athleticism that they require, and all the girls work very hard to achieve this level,” cheer coach Shannon Mckinley said.

 

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About The Author

Ivey McDaniel is a senior at Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson High school. This is her third year on in publications and is the Arts and Entertainment editor for the 2012-2013 school year. She is the president of Key Club, and an active member of Unity Club and NHS. Ivey works at the Garment Exchange and enjoys NPR, her cat Mochi, and the musical stylings of Neil Diamond.

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