The (Revised) Southwest Handbook: A What’s-What and How-To for the Southwest Student.

By Emma Cummings-Krueger

Open your planner or visit the school website and you will find a long and extensive manual regarding all things Southwest. You can educate yourself on our dress code, bell schedule, and school rules; however, there are several items that you cannot find from such official sources. The following school traditions cannot be found in any manual or rulebook, everyone simply seems to know them (or, at least, catch on to them very quickly). In fact, these long-standing Southwest traditions have always remained unwritten…until now.

Secret Spirit-Day:

A day of many names; class color day has long been a prosperous tradition at Southwest. You may know this spirit day by “favorite color day”, “pride day”, or even (for you seniors) “sports day”. Call it what you will, everyone knows what these aliases really mean: a segregation of classes by means of designated colors. Freshman orange, sophomore green, junior blue, and senior red. This specific tradition is not warmly accepted by Southwest administration and has been theoretically abolished. But leave it to the students- we have kept this tradition alive! No matter what student council nobly tries to name the Thursday of each Spirit Week, all students will inevitably show up to school in head-to-toe class colors. So remember not to fall for these tricky nicknames- you wouldn’t want to be the only one in a sports jersey…how embarrassing!

Freshman Hate:

A tale as old as time. No one likes change, and freshmen are the epitome. Who really wants 450 new kids hanging around Southwest and acting like they own the place? But the infamous hateful chant…“freshmen suck”. Though it seems harmless, this blatant abhorrence can often be offensive. Anna, a current freshman, admitted that “it’s kind of hurtful and even a little scary when people yell ‘freshman suck’ at me.” So remember Southwest, being irritated with these kids is reasonable, but don’t be a jerk about it. Stop sipping on the hater-ade and you might even make a youngster friend.

Number Pride:

Some things are inevitable: the sun rises in the East, it snows A LOT in Minnesota, and you will hear numerical-phrases being shouted at every Southwest gathering. If ever you are caught off guard, don’t be alarmed; this overwhelming number-chanting is only a demonstration of class-pride! The lucky this about this tradition is that EVERY student can participate. Here’s how: first, determine the year in which your class will be graduating. Next, memorize the last two digits. Finally, chant this number at the top of your lungs at each and every school dance, or pepfest (accompanying hand gestures are optional). Remember, the loudest class wins, so get yelling!

Senior Love:

Question: how can a person get away with skipping class, coming to school late, leaving early, and pranking other students? Answer: be a Southwest Senior. Let’s not kid ourselves…seniors get away with sanctioned murder. Each day, a large fraction of the senior class participates in a Senior Release period; allowing them to either miss 1st or 6th period. With only five classes, these seniors are living large. But wait…there’s more. Not only does administration sanction a full day each year designated as a senior “skip day” but also allows students to leave a farewell “prank” behind them as graduations draws near. Past, present, and future Southwest administration have looked the other way as seniors rule the roost. So get ready students, because Southwest high school will help to make your 12th-grade life a piece of cake.

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