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Sunday, April 18, 2021

"Senioritis" Sparks Game of Assassinations

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As senioritis begins to kick in for second semester high school seniors, the senior classes of many high schools take part in a game referred to as “Senior Assassins.” Although it is far less dangerous than it sounds, it is thrilling, challenging, and stimulating. Seniors are all assigned to one another in hopes of shooting their target with a water gun. Being shot results in instant elimination from the game. Students form alliances, buy state of the art water guns, and stake out their targets’ homes and works in order to eliminate their target, in turn bringing them closer to the cash prize the sole assassin receives at the end of the game.

One may wonder how it is possible not to get easily shot when students spend the entire day at school together, yet there are many rules and guidelines to the game, allowing for a fun and fair yet nerve-racking and exciting experience for seniors. The school campus or any location a school event is being held is a complete “Assassin free zone.” Assassins may not shoot each other while at work, yet can catch their target while he is entering or leaving his job. One cannot shoot while in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, moving or stationary, yet the passenger of the car can shoot at his target. No one can be shot at, however, in a moving vehicle, regardless of his seat. Students are safe when they are inside their garage, allowing them to safely enter and exit their cars. Targets cannot be assassinated inside their own house unless they are invited inside. Parties are common hot spots for shooting one’s target, however some hosts will designate parties as “assassin free zones.” “Senior Assassins” is a student made and student run game, so students make the rules, and in order for an entertaining and exhilarating game they abide by them too. A target can freeze their assassin for two hours by shooting them before they are shot. Students even team up to form alliances in order to catch their target when they least expect it. If one succeeds in shooting his target, that person is out and the assassin automatically takes the eliminated target’s target as his own. Every assassin must have a witness when shooting his target to make for a fair and regulated game. There are multiple rounds until there is one assassin standing, who wins a cash prize acquired from a starting fee required of all participants. At the end of each round if each assassin does not kill at least one target they are unfortunately automatically eliminated from the game. Although it is merely a fun game to close the senior year with, seniors often take “Senior Assassins” very seriously, staking out waiting for their target for hours, leaving their homes an hour early to go to school in order to avoid getting shot, or even staying in more to hide.

The game gets interesting as fewer and fewer assassins are left. At the advent of the game the coordinator, often a senior who volunteers not to participate but to organize the game, assigns students to targets they may not necessarily be friends with in order to make the game more enthralling. As students are slowly eliminated, it is inevitable for students to have their close friends as their targets, making it difficult yet interesting when it comes time to kill. Although it is just a game, seniors treat it as much more, for during the time they are still alive and in the game their entire life is invested in searching for and killing their target while watching their own back as well. Every time they leave the house, assassins must arm themselves with water guns and a watchful eye in order to scout out their target yet remember to also defend themselves. Seniors may even experience a sense of paranoia when they are out and about, for a target is constantly on their back. “Senior Assassins” participant Lauren Cutler noted, “Every time I left my house I felt a sense of paranoia, and I felt like I was being stalked. Every time I heard a noise in the bushes I would have a panic attack.” They naturally always wonder whether or not their assassin is right around the corner at any given moment, waiting for the perfect time to attack. Whether “Senior Assassins” cures or provokes senioritis, it is for sure an entertaining and thrilling game seniors who participate look forward to throughout their high school experience.

Jordan Aulen, a junior at Archmere Academy, runs cross country and track, participates in Mock Trial, and enjoys writing. She contributes Archmere’s weekly article for the Crossroads section of the News Journal.

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