The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The history of Senior Pranks

Brooke Hirsch
Senior pranks over the years vary in severity, ones being more dangerous than others.

Senior traditions have always been around for decades, especially senior pranks. 

But here’s the question: Is it time to put them to rest, or are they already dead?

For a long time, senior pranks have been an active tradition where a group of seniors, or sometimes the whole class, gets together to pull an elaborate prank on the school.

Cal High has seen its fair share of pranks and chaos, but as of late, there have been few significant pranks involving the tradition. Last year, the seniors grilled a meal in the parking lot while also putting toilet paper over a few trees, but it wasn’t as big as previous years. 

Gradually as each class leaves, the hype for senior pranks starts to die down as seniors are more focused on career plans after high school. With the hype decreasing, fewer students are motivated to pull off extravagant stunts. 

The pathetic nature of these pranks is simply a reflection of the hard work the Class of 2024 has shown the past four years.  Senior traditions have always been important, but some such as senior pranks, have remained out of the loop. 

The last time a major senior prank took place was a whole decade ago. In 2014, the senior class pulled the most memorable and elaborate prank of all time, according to an article in The Californian.

In the morning, seniors and juniors parked in the parking lot sideways and diagonally.

In between first and third periods, they organized a dance party on the first floor of the main building with solo cups, music, silly string, and more. But that wasn’t the end of it.

During lunch, leadership arranged for multiple food trucks to enter campus and as underclassmen waited in line. Seniors set up behind the Iron Horse Trail fence waiting with their water balloons to attack starving students. By the time it was over, the final hooray was when seniors left their fifth period classes at 2:14 (symbolizing 2014) to head for a fun pool day. 

Moments like these in their final months leading up to graduation used to be an exciting time for spirit weeks and ditch days. Now we are met with senioritis and constant skipping as a result of being drained from college applications and decisions. 

In 2018, administrators announced a zero tolerance policy for senior pranks. During that year, many senior were outraged by the decision, and it didn’t stop them from speaking against Cal’s new policy. Many claimed in The Californian’s previous issue that administration shouldn’t care and it wouldn’t stop harmless acts of fun from happening.

Since quarantine, the tradition has failed to survive as more seniors just seem ready to graduate and move on. As the class of 2024 comes to the end of high school, the last chance for the biggest senior prank rests in our hands.

Whether that’s putting sticky notes on a building, or parking sideways, this year seniors have another chance to bring back the beloved tradition to Cal High. We can only hope that they’ll live up to the challenge of topping the Class of 2014.

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About the Contributors
Melissa Nguyen
Melissa Nguyen, Staff Writer
Melissa Nguyen is currently a senior at Cal High and returning for her second year as a staff writer for The Californian. She also plans on working on the social media team this year. In her free time she enjoys reading, cooking, baking, and spending time with friends.
Brooke Hirsch
Brooke Hirsch, Staff Writer
Senior Brooke Hirsch joined the newspaper team as a photographer and possibly an illustrator. She’s been interested in drawing since childhood and loves a good story. If you want to talk about movies until you feel sick, talk to her.

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