Senior Year Is Unnecessarily Expensive and I Am Not Here For It

Denise Vaque, Design Editor

Do you remember when our school supply lists consisted of crayons, ziplock baggies and folders in every color of the rainbow? Every year would be a great year as long as we had our post-its and packs of glitter gel pens. Yet, the senior year shopping list changes that all. Not only is it nowhere near similar in content but its price is also astronomically high and I am not here for it.

After being stuck at home for months on end and missing out on my junior year of high school, it was exciting to be back in person. Buying my bright red senior shirt made everything feel real, but little did I know that it would be the first of a laundry list of costly expenses. After paying my yearly club fees and purchasing my homecoming ticket, dress and shoes, I was still naive about the spending storm that was to come. 

The true price of being a senior began hitting me when college application season began. On top of paying a fee just to apply to each college, I – ironically – had to pay extraordinary amounts of money to send my financial information to colleges because I don’t have enough money to pay for school on my own. 

While the following costs are optional, if a student wants to have a memorable senior year, participating in these activities is crucial. However, the cost of tickets to the school play, “Spongebob the Musical”, Mr. Panther, prom, senior picnic and Gradbash add up quickly. I can only imagine how exclusionary these costs can be to those who truly cannot afford them. Some have to make a choice between paying the electric bill and buying groceries, so to ask them to pay $177 to visit Universal Studios is ridiculous. Additionally, the expensive events can contribute to the narrative of “two schools” that have been so prevalent recently. When the class divide between students can be identified by their t-shirts and place on a bus list, it’s clear that there is a problem.

Having your senior pictures taken costs money and if you want to buy the pictures, that costs money too. When the time comes to finally graduate, it costs money to buy your graduation dress, cap and gown and even honors cords. 

At the end of the day, I’m happy to be a senior and I’m grateful that I’m able to participate in all of Palmetto’s activities but my bank account is screaming for help. All I can say is thank goodness for Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ free lunch program and Mr. Hayduk’s cheap bagels.