Seniors share their ‘glo up’ experiences

Two West seniors explain their thoughts about their freshman to senior year ‘glo ups’.


Asha Irani, Videographer

“Wow… so-and-so glo’d up…”

Pimples come and go, makeup skills are refined and teenage boys shoot up six  inches in a matter of months. But a small group of students have far exceeded the average ‘high school change’ expectations. Only a select few experience the mysterious and coveted ‘glo-up’ throughout their high school years. Glo-ing up is “A twist of the phrase ‘grow up,’ referring to a person’s incredible transformation. This is usually based on increase of style and self-confidence (and potentially one’s squad),” according to Urban Dictionary.

McLean Sunderland ’17 and Leah Rhodes ’17 both have endured a freshman to senior glo-up.

“My style freshman year basically consisted of cycling through jeans and hoodies everyday. I went through a period sophomore and junior year where I dressed more formally, and senior year has been more streetwear-y,” said Sunderland. He attributes part of his most recent style to Ned Furlong ’17, who got him interested in sneakers at the end of junior year.

I definitely have more friends than I did freshman year. I think I started ‘coming out of my shell’ more throughout sophomore and [even] junior year.”

— McLean Sunderland

The social aspect of the glo up is just as important as the physical. Expanding the groups of people they talk to and making friendly connections with new and different types of students is something both seniors have experienced. 

“I don’t really think I glo’d up…” Rhodes said. But there are some things the varsity soccer play and homecoming queen nominee can’t deny. “I talk to a lot more people than I did when I was an underclassman,” she said. “I’ve kept most of my friends from freshman year but the amount of people I consider close friends has definitely increased.”

Sunderland agrees. “I definitely have more friends than I did freshman year. I think I started ‘coming out of my shell’ more throughout sophomore and [even] junior year,” he said.

Whether they believe it was because of their glo-ups or not, the two seniors have both enjoyed finally being on top of the high school ladder.

Rhodes said, “Senior year has been a lot more enjoyable than freshman year. The only drawback is my insane senioritis.”

McLean Sunderland ’17 hangs out beside West during his last few days at West High.
Leah Rhodes ’17 dribbles toward the goal on May 18th during Iowa City West Girl’s Soccer senior night.














McLean Sunderland ’17 (right) poses with Javonte Williams ’17 (left) and Charlie Code ’17 (center) freshman year.
Leah Rhodes ’17 (right) poses with Ashley Smith ’16 (center) and Hannah Bormann ’17 (left) freshman year.