Making a statement: The graduating class of 2021 share their senior quotes

Yearbooks are a senior year staple, and with its release comes one of its most beloved elements, senior quotes.



Senior year traditions: Every year, graduating high school seniors choose a personal quote to go alongside their yearbook photo.

Senior year for the class of 2021 has unfolded far differently than expected due to the coronavirus. The vast majority of senior activities, from Prom to Graduation, have been redeveloped or thrown out the window completely. These changes and cancellations have been accompanied by disappointment from seniors who have been looking forward to these events since their earlier high school years. Luckily, one iconic senior year tradition has remained unchanged this year, senior quotes.

Senior quotes have been an ongoing yearbook activity for decades. Seniors are given the opportunity to choose a quote, witty and personal, that they feel defines themself, their philosophies or their high school experience. This year, seniors brainstormed their senior quote options similarly to previous years, except that the statements were submitted via a google form.

Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who has starred in award-winning films and immensely impacted pop culture, inspired senior Jennifer Pineda to choose Dicaprio’s iconic quote, “Work until you don’t have to introduce yourself.” Pineda chose this senior quote as she considers Dicaprio to be her role model. “It means a lot to me because he’s one of the people I look up to” she explained. “He’s such a successful actor.” It’s not Dicaprio’s success alone that inspired Pineda, but the many struggles he has overcome as well. “He came from the bottom and one day I hope to become as successful as him.”

Anxiety and nerves can run high when studying for a test or quiz. With online flashcards and self-testing features, the website Quizlet has aided in making learning topics less stressful for students. Senior Amira Hassan found Quizlet to be extremely helpful throughout her high school experience, so much so that she decided to honour the studious website in her senior quote, “Couldn’t have done it without Quizlet.” Hassan explained that she chose the quote because Quizlet helped her through various quizzes and tests.“They have really good flashcards to study with and helped me when I had a difficult time learning a lesson or topic.” Hassan believes that Quizlet played a major role in helping her pass her classes.

Inspired by singer Phoebe Bridgers, senior Lou Pendergrass chose a quote from one of her pieces, titled “Garden Song”. The line of the song, “I don’t know how but I’m taller, it must be something in the water” was lightheartedly chosen as a joke about Pendergrass being tall. Despite being an ode to her height, Pendergrass’s choice of this quote has a meaning that goes further. “The whole song is a communication between different versions of Phoebe at different stages in her life, each verse is directed at either her past, future or present self. The verse I chose is her older self talking to her current self.” Pendergrass explained, “it’s also about nightmares and reflecting on the past.” Relating to the themes in the song, Pendergrass chose the quote as a seemingly lighthearted, but more layered statement.

With a love for the video game Animal Crossing, in which you create homes and interact with animal villagers, senior Alina Barlow decided to quote one of its cute characters. “Don’t cry about dreams that don’t come true today. Sometimes ya needs ta try another way!” Barlow shared that this quote was meaningful to her because she realized that reaching her goals would take longer than she originally expected due to the routes she chose. The quote serves as a reminder to her that, in time, her dreams will come true.

Senior quotes are a tradition based around self-expression. Despite the word count requirement, the possibilities for quotes to choose are seemingly endless. Picking out and hearing fellow student’s quotes is a fun addition to senior year, and luckily one that has been all the same this year despite the pandemic.