Three Viewpoints: Senior Traditions at PCA

Pro Traditions with Brooklynn Pruitt, Anti Traditions with Jack Walton, and How We Use Traditions with Caleb Cunningham

Three Viewpoints: Senior Traditions at PCA

Who Needs Change

By Brooklynn Pruitt, Social Media Editor

After all the hard work of surviving Upper School, Senior year comes with rewards and traditions. From wearing Senior shirts to running out of the halls screaming on the last day of school, Prestonwood Christian Academy has a lot of rituals for the oldest students on campus. 

A few of the things that past alumni had the pleasure of doing, the current Seniors do not get the pleasure to participate in. Some things that spring to mind are Senior parking and early release. Before the construction of the new Middle School, parking by the field house was open to Seniors. Now, thanks to the loss of six parking spaces on the side of the main building, around forty parking spaces have been taken away from the Seniors. Walking the extra eight minutes every morning in Texas weather is not something that the new Seniors look forward to. Another amenity that is rumored that may be discontinued for  future Seniors is early release and late arrival. Back in the day, Seniors were allowed only to take four classes a semester, meaning that they could get out of school at 12:30 every day. Due to parents complaining about the amount of tuition they pay for the amount of time Seniors spend at school, current Seniors have to now take six classes a semester and get out at 1:45 or come in at 9:15, and in the next couple of years, early release and late arrival will be taken away entirely.

 During my Junior year at PCA, I doubled my Science classes and took all of the Arts and Technology credits ahead of time so that my Senior schedule would be easier than average. Since I put in the work ahead of time, I only need four classes to graduate from high school. Due to the taking away of these Senior traditions, I have had to be at school an extra two hours, when I could be spending that time working or doing homework. PCA traditions have always been special, and there are many Senior traditions we have been looking forward to for years. These are being removed slowly over time, and these are part of what make Senior year special and unique.

 

Change is Good

By Jack Walton, Sports Editor

Over the years, many traditions have been created that have shaped the culture felt around PCA. However, traditions change and are modified, and some completely done away with because of the negative effects they have. 

Many old traditions are being torn down by the staff to help the students in the long run. Students often do not see the negative effects that certain traditions cause mainly because the traditions benefit them; however, the benefits of the tradition are circumstantial at best. One example of this is early release for Seniors. To the students, it seems like the most significant tradition and blessing that they get to leave school one class period early, but it really is just taking away from the students. In leaving a class period, students are missing out on a class period to learn and better themselves. This does not just relate to learning, but also college resumes could be more filled out as more students would take another elective as a class. Many students with the option of having two early releases make their senior schedule undemanding in response to having early release as an option. Many parents also complain that they should not have to pay as much tuition as their student is not taking a class. This causes problems between the staff and parents, and if the administration did away with early release, there would not be this problem. 

Another tradition that has been almost done away with was the tradition of Senior parking. Senior parking was given up because of the construction being done to the new middle school. This tradition causes many problems between the students and administration as students are caught parking in the wrong places and areas; because of this problem, it was responsible for the administration to take it away. This is another example of how traditions are just a way for more problems to arise. 

School traditions can be good, but, in many cases, are just problems waiting to happen. With just these two examples, it is easy to see that some significant changes need to be made to the idea of Prestonwood traditions. 

 

An Alumni Perspective

by Caleb Cunningham, Upper School Math Teacher and PCA ’09 Alumni

Tradition seems to be a buzz word in any semi-long standing institution. The founders of said institution try new things, and over the years those new things become old things, events become customs, beliefs become traditions. Traditions keep alive the memories of what came before and help to build ties between the many generations that pass through an institution, but as with all things, tradition is only good in moderation. 

Traditions should emphasize the importance of community. This is why traditions like Senior Run, Senior Will and See You at the Pole are so critical. They are opportunities to bring the school together for a common goal, and they are milestones in each student’s high school experience. New events like the Texas Stomp (to which I am extremely partial) and the Special Friends Basketball Game will undoubtedly stand the test of time and become traditions due to their impact on the PCA community and their scope. They can cover all grades and do not hinder any one class. These are traditions we should uphold. 

Yet, traditions should not remain just for tradition’s sake. If certain customs are not beneficial or have lost their relevance, it would be foolish to continue with them. Some may miss the bigger picture if said traditions directly benefit them, but traditions should be viewed in light of how they will affect the culture over time and how effective they continue to be. A sore topic for many seniors is the loss of early release. A short-sighted view may lead to lamenting about previous classes that got to leave early and the “injustice” that the school would inflict upon its upcoming seniors, but this complaint misses the mark. If one would just take the time to step outside oneself, he could see the benefit of having our seniors on campus during the day. They are supposed to be the leaders of the school and the most dedicated to fostering the culture of PCA. Such goals should be first and foremost when considering the preservation of traditions.