“I, Mariah Vongphachanh, leave to my friends – Sydney: early morning sunrises, coffee, and maturity; Hannah: Freshman cheer, near death car rides, and Max hair; Tyler – a denim shirt and a mob of 7th grade choir girls; Zyon: the loudest burp to ever happen in a New York sub shop; Benny: Ulta escapades and makeup lessons; Grass: credit for all of the nicknames and cool phrases; Kado: lots of babies and ex boyfriends.”
This is just an example of something that could have been a senior will, something that used to be extremely popular, but have diminished over time to be nonexistent.
So what happened to these senior wills? Why aren’t they as popular?
Senior wills used to be something that almost everyone did. Basically, people would pick up a packet at the beginning of the week with a bunch of boxes on it, that allowed one word per box. Each packet included about 400 boxes. They would turn them in at the end of the week to the West Ottawan and the editors would type up each will, word for word.
At the peak of popularity, the West Ottawan could get around 180 senior wills to publish. However, eventually it got down to 22 in 2013.
“I have never even heard of a senior will, but I think they’re a cool idea I guess. I just don’t think anyone would really do them,” Jr. Hannah Prys said.
At the time when senior wills were common, it was significantly harder for high schoolers to document their lives in the way that they do today. If students go on vacation with friends, or do anything of note, they can just snap a picture or video on their phones and post it immediately to social media. They can talk to their friends at any time by texting. In both of these situations, the events are saved forever on their phones.
This wasn’t the case ten years ago. When something cool happened, it was up the the brain to remember that event. As a result, many events would be forgotten. Senior wills were a fantastic way to help remember those events and remind others of the great times they have had in the past four years. Now that those memories can be easily accessed at almost any time, a senior will is hardly needed.
The modern senior will could be a post on Instagram, or a look through the memories section on Snapchat. Nowadays, senior wills are just not necessary for today’s students. However, that doesn’t mean that the people who wrote senior wills don’t still have fond memories of them.
“It’s funny how much some of us remember and some of us forget,” West Ottawa alumni Jenna Callari said.
While the senior class of 2018 graduate and move onto a new chapter of their lives, remembering the past will be in everyone’s mind. Although there won’t be any senior wills in the West Ottawan this year, the spirit of them will be passed around from senior to senior.