It's that time of year again -- a certain sheet full of names recently circulated around the high school campus. Yes, it's time to vote for the senior superlatives.

When the voting sheets were handed out, I glanced over mine to see which names I would circle for the categories listed. There was certainly a category for everyone: Most Artistic, Best Eyes and Most Likely to Get Lost on a College Campus (I'll admit, I chuckled at that one), to name a few.

As I read on, however, I discovered a phenomenon that many other high school seniors and alumni also have likely stumbled upon: One or two students were nominated for not one, not two, but five different superlatives.

Senior superlatives like "Best eyes" shouldn’t be viewed as sacred titles bestowed upon the so-called "best of the best" of a
Senior superlatives like "Best eyes" shouldn't be viewed as sacred titles bestowed upon the so-called "best of the best" of a class. (Paul Gonzales/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

It's not like I have anything against the nominees. After all, the process is completely fair. Before the final voting round began, a different sheet was passed around with blank boxes under each listed category. Students simply printed any name in the boxes to nominate someone for that superlative. After about a week of tabulation passes, those who received the most nominations were printed as possible choices on the next voting sheet.

The problem is, the students who appear most frequently on the list often have tons of friends on campus who can vote for them, handing those lucky few a chance to grab Most Outgoing or The Life of the Party. While having lots of friends is by no means a bad thing, I can't help but feel that some of these titles are being handed out to the wrong people.


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Take Most Changed Since Freshman Year. I've known a handful of the nominees for that since before freshman year -- middle school even -- and I've seen them don the same clothing, wear the same hairstyles, and socially behave in almost the exact same way for every year since the day we met. How does that translate to "most changed"?

I'm not sure why we still honor this tradition, which is essentially a popularity contest. (In the long run, does it really matter who had the Best Eyes?) Some could argue that I'm just running my mouth off because I didn't earn a spot of my own on the list (well, maybe a little). But the truth is, no one is going to gain or lose friends based on their status on the list.

Sure, the winners will get a fancy spot in the yearbook, but who's to say the popular kid who got Most Likely to Change the World will come close to accomplishing such a feat? For all we know, a lesser-known science student in the same class could go on to solve world hunger, cure cancer or do something spectacular that really could change the world we live in.

So to all my friends (and nonfriends) who missed the cut, don't worry. The senior superlatives shouldn't be viewed as sacred titles bestowed upon the "best of the best" of our classes. You only need to look around at the friends you've made through your high school journey to determine who's really the "best."

The Life in Perspective board is made up of teens who write for the features sections. Blake Garnsey is a senior at San Ramon High School in Danville. Reach him at lip@bayareanewsgroup.com.