SparkNotes Blog

Choosing Your Senior Quote

Sparkler Juliet_92 heads into uncharted SparkLife territory in this great post about choosing a senior quote. Hope  you like it! —SparkNotes Editors

For the past eleven years, the most important part of your yearbook was your picture. However, as you arrive on campus a senior, you have a much more daunting and important task to prepare for. And I’m not talking about those silly college applications (sarcasm), but rather, your senior quote.

The senior quote the should be the essence of you…in convenient quote form. While this is your last yearbook, other people may still be reading it long after you graduate. Perhaps in 20 years, an old classmate of yours will give the book to her/his children to look at.

First, they will mock your ensemble, saying things such as, “Ew, she looks grody with a spork.” Then they will read your quote. So as you embark on the quest that is finding that perfect quote, here are some things to consider.

  • Television, books, movies, and song lyrics always have golden pieces of quotation goodness littered throughout them. After watching or reading something for a while, you might begin to seems similarities between yourself and certain characters, which might be why they are your favorite. It’s a good idea to reread The Great Gatsby for the 6th time to find your perfect quote, or get out your favorite season of a TV show on DVD (I’m looking at you Buffy, Dr. Horrible, pretty much anything from Joss Whedon) to find that perfect phrase. However, some people are wary of pop culture references because they can get dated quickly, and may seem impersonal, as millions of other people have access to the exact same material.
  • Quotes you make up yourself are obviously the most personal, and when done right, can be very cool. When your mind is running wild like a herd of fat cats to a food bowl, you may be able to crank out a one-of-a-kind quote. However, self-quoting can also be dangerous. If your quote reads, “I had the best time’s at Brian’s parties! You rock, and so do I!” you may end up looking at your quote in 10 years wondering who this Brian person is.
  • Another thing to beware of is the shady land of the Inspirational Quotes. Inspirational quotes are like clichés—overused. Maybe you’ve always been an optimist, or you’re just so relieved that after twelve long years of school, you’re finally graduating. Either way, inspirational quotes must be used with care. Every year, I see the quote, “Dance like no one is watching…,” so I feel it’s a little tired. However, if these quotes really inspire you, and you feel like spreading some of that ooey gooey inspiration around, go for it.
  • You may want to make a piece of advice your quote. I read one that advised lower classmen bring lunch from home, because it’s cheaper, healthier, and probably tastes better. So, feel free to impart your wisdom, you wise senior, you.
  • Don’t forget to make your quote school-appropriate—no swear words, even if your nickname is the Sailor because you swear so much.

It’s a good idea to list all the quotes you’re considering and then take a couple days to mull them over.

While these are the guidelines I followed, they absolutely don’t apply to every situation. Maybe party throwin’ Brian is your best friend forever, or you feel that everyone should know you smell a rose every day. Whatever quote you pick, you should feel absolutely comfortable with it; it should speak to your groovy self.

And yes, I did just use the word groovy.

Wanna write for SparkLife? Send your nickname and submission to contribute@sparknotes.com for consideration!

Related Post: Get Into the School Paper Before It’s Too Late