The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

For Our Sake and Your Own, Stay Off The Senior Quad

Staff photo and illustration: Alyssa McAdams and Tatum Herrin

I know it’s hard to imagine, but there was once a time when I myself was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed junior. Before that I was a sophomore, and before that I was a freshman. And throughout each year, I longed to take my place on the senior quad. As a sophomore, I wanted to talk to my older sister and her friends, just a few steps out of reach. I yearned for the plentiful lunch tables and to tan in the sunlight that always seemed to shine most brightly on that prized stretch of turf.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The lunch tables and extra chairs always end up dragged away. The rain pours down on the senior quad just like anywhere else. And what you might perceive to be a bountiful meadow is made up of the same shreds of plastic that make up your grade’s quad. And yet, I love the senior quad just as much as I imagined I would, if not more. So what’s the secret? What makes it so magical?

It’s quite simple, really. I waited. For three years, I never even considered stepping foot on the senior quad. Now that I have it, I can’t help but feel special. I’ve formed an unbreakable association between seniority and the senior quad. When I’m on it, I feel like the adult I (almost) am. There’s a sense of satisfaction and wistfulness for how far you’ve come.

So before you, a non-senior, casually cut across the quad on the way to the cafeteria or leisurely step onto it at 3:01 pm, consider these effects: you are making the privilege the current seniors patiently waited three years for feel not so special anymore. Furthermore, you are stifling the joy that you yourself could experience the day that you become a senior, the fulfillment you could have as you realize you’ve finally reached your senior year and all its perks. 

There’s also the matter of grade closeness, both emotionally and spatially. While I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve sensed a stronger bond between the class of 2024 since we’ve become seniors. I believe it’s a result of having a place where we can’t help but come together. We are physically united within the bounds of the quad, and the comfort around each other that follows is a natural and recurring phenomenon. 

While inter-grade friendships are valuable, a close inter-grade bond offers a unique sense of belonging. We are experiencing all of life’s challenges at the same time, and it’s nice to be able to lean on one another or to know we all have each other’s back; the quad offers a shared space to do so. If other grades encroach on the senior quad, its specialness will dissipate; soon, it won’t be a place where most seniors congregate. It’ll be just another patch of turf, void of its former glory and bonding capabilities. 

I understand that non-seniors want to be around their senior friends. I am one of many class of 2024 members with friends in other grades who I want to be around during the school day. But if you as a non-senior want to hang out with your senior friends, kindly invite them off the senior quad to join you somewhere else. 

I know that, right now, it is very rare for a non-senior to shamelessly walk on the senior quad during school hours. It’s not a problem yet. But the signs are there. Something as simple as taking a few steps on the senior quad on your way to lunch causes a shift and tone, a sense of casualness. While after-school hours are more lenient, waiting till most seniors are gone is a sign of respect that you will soon enjoy yourself. For our sake and your own, keep the magic alive.


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About the Contributor
Tatum Herrin
Tatum Herrin, Editor in Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 4

Favorite aspect of journalism: Designing pages

Interests outside of school: Mock trial and lacrosse

Class of 2024

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