By Maya ’12
Intramural rivalries are fun. Yes, they pit one group of people against another, and can sometimes get nasty, but in the end rivalries are an opportunity to show pride, act silly and let off steam.
After Mascot, a lot of seniors were disgruntled by the juniors’ “mean” song. Personally, I loved it and was even a little bit jealous. Not only was the delivery superb, but the audience’s reaction was fantastic, creating a buzz of excitement not often seen at Marlborough. The students, faculty and staff were all talking, discussing and anticipating what was to come next: would there be retaliation? an apology? Or would it all just fade away? I had lengthy conversations with people I rarely talk to about what was to be done next. The Senior Lounge hummed with conflicting opinions and shared sentiments and, combined with the culmination of one of our final traditions, my class had never felt more unified.
Last year, I felt no connection to the graduating class outside of my individual relationships. All the activities we’d done together had been superficial and rooted in pleasant neutrality. We would smile, talk about coursework, eat our muffins and awkwardly mill about, all the while wondering what exactly bonding activities were meant to achieve. Neutrality is not moving; it is boring. Competition, on the other hand, is compelling and calls for innovation, teamwork and determination.
At Marlborough, we are so afraid of being politically incorrect or of hurting each other’s feelings that we often forget how to have fun. We act as though a revived Junior-Senior rivalry would imbue the School with polarity and nastiness, but we forget that schools across the world use competition to unify the student body as a whole. In England they have house competitions from grade school onwards, and in the United States many high schools in the South have sororities and fraternities that pull pranks and conduct tournaments throughout the year.
We obviously need to have limits; Saran wrapping another student’s car is never OK. But when Marlborough girls are already so competitive in detrimental, academic ways, why not divert that energy into something entertaining and silly?
We need to loosen up. A rivalry is not the manifestation of supremacy and humiliation that it is often pegged to be. This is not Mean Girls. This is Marlborough, and as long as there is apt supervision there is more to gain than there is to lose.