Saying Goodbye to the Seniors

The last few weeks of school were both exciting and melancholic. Both summer and Prize Day, when the seniors graduated, loomed ahead.

Prize Day weekend officially started on Friday but the first main event was the awards ceremony on Saturday. There were many different awards given during the event based on athletics, academics, and character. Additionally, there were some for Lower Schoolers and some for Upper Schoolers. The Fifth Formers also sang a song to send off the seniors. And finally, senior prefects, as well as all form officers, were announced. On Saturday night, we also had the last student dance of the year!

On Sunday, we had the Prize Day ceremony. First, the seniors walked in pairs from the Chapel into their seats placed under a large tent on the Circle. They all wore the traditional boater hats used for graduation at Groton. Then, they were called up one by one to receive their diplomas while students in other forms stood up to support their friends in the senior class when they were called on.

Finally, came one of Groton’s most memorable traditions: handshaking. The tradition is that every senior stands in a line around the Circle, while every other student moves along the line, handshaking the seniors. Instead of handshaking, people also hugged the seniors that they knew the most. During the same line, seniors and other students who were very close were able to exchange pre-written letters to each other to read later.

I remember how right after the hug line, many of my friends and I sat in our common room crying because we were sad to see our prefects and other senior friends leave. It was a bittersweet experience because as dismal as we were, we were also very excited for the graduating class and wished them well in their following years!