Column: Senior Farewell Ceremony embodies spirit of Archer


Photo credit: Isabelle Kantz

The Maypole sways in the breeze on Archer’s front lawn, as it has done for the past 35 years. It is a school tradition for the senior class and their parents to set up the Maypole together in the beginning of May.

What marks the end of the year at Archer? Is it senior graduation, or is it finals week? Or when the yearbook comes out? Or is it the subtler things— disorganized backpacks, lack of pencils, stained uniforms? In my six years at Archer, I have come to find that it is none of these things.

The end of the year, really, comes with the Senior Farewell Ceremony.

The event, which takes place under the annual graduation tent on the sports court, is both a time to recognize the seniors and to reflect on the year as a whole. Teachers and the administration commemorate the senior class while the senior class explains to the rest of the student body what, exactly, Archer has meant for them.

Call me crazy, call me sentimental, but this may be my favorite Archer tradition. Yes, all the other events are crazy, wild fun, but the Farewell is by far the most nostalgic and touching.

Let me digress. We are all (I assume) very ready for a break. In the weeks after Spring Break, especially the weeks after APs, it feels like every class is winding down, every teacher packing in the workloads to finish the curriculum in time for summer vacation. 

I greet my friends every morning with, “I’m so done.” They reply variants of “Me, too.” The air warms, slightly, and smells like summer and trees are all especially green.

At other points in the year, students are tired or long for the next three-day weekend. In the Spring, however, the air always reminds us that summer is near. We all are exhausted and very ready for a long break.

The Senior Farewell breaks this desperate call for freedom. It reminds me of the fleeting preciousness of every year at Archer. As I near my own senior year, I expect the ceremony to be especially terrifying and sad.

However, I also remember my very first Farewell. It was in hearing the love the teachers felt for their students, and the love the students felt for the school, that I became really truly excited for my time at Archer.

It offers us non-seniors a window into life at the very end of Archer, and at least for me, it reminds me why I want to be at Archer. Forever. Then, after the ceremony, there are is the usual final week preparation — scrubbing the stubborn goo from our lockers, turning in the last project of the year, getting our yearbooks.

They remain exciting reminders of the long summer break to come, but they are ringed with nostalgia, with love for all that Archer represents.

Just look at the yearbooks! At my elementary school, everyone just signed their names in the yearbook, and if they were feeling especially nice, they would kindly tell you to “HAGS,” the lazy person’s version of “Have a great summer.”

In my Archer yearbook, especially in middle school, there are “HAG”-ers, but there are very rarely just signers. Generally yearbook notes are, if not long, sweet.

So the lesson of this is to write long, heartfelt yearbook pieces. I jest! Just enjoy your time at Archer; When complaining about workload or stress, remember that, while it seems endless, your time at Archer is finite, so appreciate everything you can.

To paraphrase Ann Brashares’ “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” Archer=Love. Love your pals. Love yourself.