The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.

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The Perks of the PSATs: Memes

Paige Gillespie & Elisa Kruse, '18, Staff Writers

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With college just around the corner, all students are faced with one inevitability: standardized testing. For most juniors, this dreaded series of tests begin with the PSAT. At Strath Haven, the PSAT consists of arriving to school half an hour early, sitting in the gym for four straight hours, making awkward eye contact with at least ten people in your grade, and trying not to turn into an ice cube in the thirty degree air conditioning. Luckily, with the increasing popularity of social media, students have found a way to incorporate some comedy into the otherwise lifeless testing experience.

Once all the tests are turned in and locked away, students immediately turn to Twitter to share, joke, and commiserate about their testing experience. The most common form of joke, known as a meme, includes a well known picture and caption focusing on the many absurd passages, events, and characters throughout the various sections in the exam. The many short stories and narratives throughout the long test provide an abundance of material for bored teenagers to utilize later. The perks of social media are obvious when it comes to the testing season for juniors. For anyone on twitter, the experience of seeing a funny, relatable meme is like no other.

All students were instructed to sign a contract vowing not to discuss the test content in any manner. This contract was signed day of the test. However, within minutes of completing the exam, #PSAT was already trending on Twitter. This brought up some controversy over whether making jokes about test content is considered plagiarism or goes against the contract. Strath Haven senior Morgan Crain experienced the PSAT memes phenomenon last year, and she states, “I think it’s all done in good spirit. The tests change every year and the SATs chance month to month, so I don’t see the harm.” So far, there has been no word from the college board on whether or not this trending topic is a violation of conduct. Without this restriction, students seized the freedom to tweet thousands of jokes about the PSAT. After all, talent, according to Don Juan Ribero, is worth far more than money.

Regardless of what evolves from these PSAT memes, to many Haven juniors they were a bright spot in an otherwise boring and intimidating process.

To the underclassmen here at Haven, the testing season is not something to look forward to. Just keep in mind that the culture behind the PSAT is possibly worth suffering through that four hour test. Good luck future PSAT takers and to those who made it through this round, hopefully the ACTs and SATs have something meme- worthy to look forward to in order to help us make it through.

The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
The Perks of the PSATs: Memes