Senior shirt design stirs mixed reactions


Photo by Hannah Rah

Seniors Shravani Pothini Balaji and Abigail Turner wore their senior shirts to the senior picture on Oct. 14.

As the class of 2022 settles into their final year of high school, traditions like Senior Sunrise have already been celebrated, with others like prom still on the horizon. One highly anticipated tradition is the design of the senior class shirt, which first went on sale Sept. 9.  

This year’s shirt features text that says “Lucky me! I’m a senior,” inspired by rapper Kanye West’s “Lucky me, I see ghosts” merchandise. 

Seniors had the opportunity to vote on the shirt design via a poll on the class of 2022’s Instagram account. Students were given the option between the current Kanye West look and a Taylor Swift-inspired design. “I really like that the shirts this year reflect the students’ choice. This year, we were able to lower the price of the shirts so that they could be affordable for all students, create a design that students voted on and finalize a new way to buy shirts through [custom clothing retailer] Custom Ink,” senior class president Dylan Safai said. 

Our shirts are based off of Kanye West’s recent merch, so we decided to make a shirt that is trendy and fit the senior theme.”

— Keerthi Pabmanabhan

Senior Planning chose to draw inspiration from West’s merchandise with the aim of creating a contemporary and fashionable class shirt. “Our shirts are based off of Kanye West’s recent merch, so we decided to make a shirt that is trendy and fit the senior theme,” senior and Senior Planning member Keerthi Pabmanabhan said.

Though students voted on the T-shirt design, seniors have contrasting opinions about the final product. Senior Parth Mishra feels the shirt’s inspiration is unclear. “Apparently the shirt was based on Kanye merch, but just looking at it, nobody would be able to tell, so the design is like an inside joke that nobody knows besides Senior Planning,” Mishra said.

The reason for the disconnect between the Instagram poll results and seniors’ reactions to the shirt likely lies in flaws with the choice of survey platform. “I think [reactions to the shirt are mixed even though there was a poll] because some people didn’t have an Instagram account and couldn’t vote. I also think people could have changed their minds after voting,” Pabmanabhan said. 

Certain students are more enthusiastic about the class shirt because of its relevance to modern culture. “I really like how the shirt is in tune with the popular culture of today. The fact that it’s black makes it versatile and easy to wear,” senior Elizabeth Ipe said. 

Other seniors found that the initially unfamiliar “Lucky me” design grew on them over time. “Opinions on the shirt are a little mixed, but I feel that that is partly due to the fact that some people are not familiar with Kanye’s merch. When discussing ideas for the shirt, I was also apprehensive about the current design, as I had never noticed the ‘Lucky me’ merchandise anywhere. But after I was introduced to it, I took notice of people wearing Kanye-inspired merchandise and I started to appreciate and understand our design more,” Pabmanabhan said.