When I was a freshman in high school, my perception of the senior class was that they were group of adults who happened to spend their day in the same place I did. They seemed so old. And mature; as if the problems they encountered in their lives were entirely different than the ones I encountered in my own.
I didn't feel the same way when I was a freshman in college - which is funny, since seniors in college are (basically) adults. I guess college is a little less segregated than high school, such that seniors & freshman could be in the same classes, and would generally occupy all areas of campus, regardless of age. And I think the sorority added a different element to the whole thing, since the seniors wanted to be really welcoming & friendly to the freshmen.
But high school - man! Those kids were ancient compared to me. And it wasn't that I ever encountered any hostility when I was a freshman, or that I ever felt the seniors were flaunting their age to the freshmen. But they just seemed older, and they looked so much older than we did. And here's the really funny part of all of this:
When I look through my yearbook from freshman year of high school (as in, look through it today, the year 2010), I still think the seniors look older than me - like, they look older than me now (the year 2010, when I am ten years older than the kids pictured in the photos).
I can't really explain why. And I can't explain why the logic of it (the fact that I am ten years older than the kids in the photos) doesn't outweigh the strange phenomenon. But it doesn't.
I can also say for fact that when I was a senior in high school, I didn't see myself as being that much older than the freshman class. We didn't really have problems or life situations that were all that far removed from those of a freshman. In fact, I remember thinking the freshman were growing up a little too fast - like, they were doing things that should be reserved for upper-classmen.
But anyway - just a funny little thought. Did you guys also view the upper-classmen as much, much more, well, upper than you?