Hover over the pictures below to view direct quotes:
Each generation of students is defined by its own set of traditions and while some of these trends may remain from one generation to the next, countless are replaced.
Said Kyle Fitzpatrick, a teacher that has been working at Cupertino High School for more than a decade, “there are different pressures, different systematic things that happen, and cultural shifts of course, but the biggest one [currently] I think is the intensity of high school. It is a national thing but I think it’s more tended towards here in Cupertino.”
Susan Rocha, a current teacher that attended Cupertino High School as a student, expanded upon her experience as a student in comparison to recent years. “Things were easier then. School was a lot more enjoyable and it wasn’t all about getting A’s and doing well on the SAT, those type of things. People were a little more carefree,” Rocha said.
However, some teachers believe the current student population works well together to combat the increased intensity of high school. “I think we are more of a collaborative community, like collaborative learning is big now […] that was not so much the case when I was in high school,” said Yukari Salazar. “We were all very [independent] and if you failed, you kind of just failed on your own.”
The general atmosphere of their days at school was not the only highlight of teachers’ memories. There were also trends in clothing that are particularly interesting using today’s standards.
“I remember people would peg their pants [tightly roll the cloth at the ankle] and girls would often wear shoulder pads under their shirts.” said Rocha, “Nowadays, I think clothing is a lot tighter. But back then, it was a lot bigger.”
One trend in particular really caught Mrs. Salazar’s attention. She noted how in recent years “the smarter you are, the more accepted you are in social circles. I feel like in my high school, the smarter you are, the more taken advantaged you were and picked on. So it was really hard to be smart, like you didn’t want to look smart.“
Whether it’s pegging pants to look cool or attempting to not appear intelligent in order to be accepted into social circles, these trends have evolved over time. In fact, they are what makes one generation different from another.
Gallery Courtesy of Ethan Qi and Amy Zeng.