Letterman vs. class ring


Sydney Sokora / Legacy Media

According to Jake Gallagher, GQ Magazine reporter, letter jackets are thought to originate from Harvard University in 1865, whereas class rings originated in 1835 at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Letterman – Anna Ta

Anyone who has ever seen a TV show or movie set in high school knows what a Letter jacket is. The leather sleeves, the bold patches, Letter jackets are a sign of high school success. Though they are typically portrayed as the modern-day armor of varsity jocks, in reality, Lettermen can be writers and musicians as well as swimmers and runners.

While both the ring and the Letter jacket can be worn, let us be realistic here. Which one is going to keep someone warm and toasty in the December chill and which one is just going to hang off someone’s finger? Although they are both rather expensive, the jacket can replace another sweater someone might be forced to buy in order keep warm for the winter season, gaining back its own worth.

Secondly, anyone can buy a class ring – the letter jacket is something to be earned. Like a Native American headdress, or a Dothraki braid (Game of Thrones reference, anyone?), the Letter jacket is a rite of passage, a war prize after a grueling four years of high school. The ring may shine and shimmer, but it does not carry the weight and satisfaction of a Letter jacket over someone’s shoulders.

Finally, a class ring is best when it comes from someone’s final school. For those who do not think they will attend a college or technical school, this point does not apply, although for most it does. A class ring from a graduate school is something someone can wear for the rest of their lives, but what happens to the high school ring? It tarnishes away in a jewelry box, forgotten.

For anyone looking for a memento to hold onto, the Letter jacket is the way to go.

Class Ring – Larissa Torres

They are everywhere. Shiny class rings in gold and silver ornamenting the fingers of seniors and juniors with sparkly gemstones inlaid, and different imprints showing exactly who that student is. Navy letterman jackets that immediately give the student a look of higher class, and advertise what they accomplished in order to be bestowed with a letterman.

But which is better? Both letter jackets and class rings are expensive, but which is the better investment?

The answer is a class ring.

Class rings really are the best choice. They last longer, and students are more likely to wear them after high school. Letter jackets look nice, but the truth is that once a student graduates, the letter jacket finds itself in the back of their closet. It collects dust, takes up space and ultimately is something that is tried on decades from now and then put back where it was and forgotten for the next 10 years or so. But look around and there are adults wearing class rings from decades ago, proud to bear the shiny reminder of where they came from and what they did.

News flash, Texas is hot. There are barely any days cold enough to warrant a letter jacket, and then it has to be lugged around for the entire day. Then if something gets on that precious letter jacket that was worn for about five minutes outside in the morning, it has to be dry cleaned. If something gets on a class ring, which by the way was worn all day, not just walking from the bus or parking lot or the walk to school, a simple rinse of water and maybe some soap will do just fine. No need to pay for dry cleaning, no need to drop it off and be without it for a couple days. Just a two-minute rinse in the sink, a towel dry and the ring would be as good as new.