Colors and Classes: A Mystery Unsolved


Artwork by: Landon Chatelier

It’s not uncommon for students to sort their classes into colored folders at the beginning of the school year, and many people have a definitive shade for each course. But why do people align colors with certain classes at school? Despite being such a simple concept, there are some very strong opinions about what classes symbolize what colors, and I wanted to know what students at Huntington Beach High School (HBHS) think about it. After conducting a survey including math, science, and English and their association with blue, green, red, yellow, purple, and an option for “other” or “no opinion,” here is what I’ve found:

Math was most commonly voted as the color blue by students at HBHS, gathering 44% of all submissions. Red and green received 27% and 11% for math respectively. Math has a much stronger debate over what colors represent it than other subjects. Based on the survey results, English and math tend to be the two subjects that students associate with either red or blue, and if Math was red for example, then English would be blue, and vice versa. Christian Grombone, a sophomore at HBHS, had one of the less common opinions. She stated that math should be green instead of blue. Grombone added, “I believe it’s like that because when I think of math, I think of addition. And addition signs are always green.”

For the next subject, we have English. Oh, English. Out of all of the classes, English garnered the most diverse opinions. Yellow was the most popular color, with 29% of participants choosing it, and in a 3-way tie for second, green, blue, and red all racked up 22%. 

Another highly debated subject is science. There are so many valid reasons for any color to be used, and there are so many different types of sciences too. The leading color choice for science was green, with a percentage of 44. Following were purple and yellow with 28% and 17% respectively. I asked Jake Van Holt, a senior at HBHS about his science color choice, and he said, “Green. It is just green, you know?”

Despite the multitude of passionate views, there is one more opinion: the rare “no preference.” For how extreme of a conversation this is, this has got to be the most surprising response. Kylie Hayes, a junior at HBHS, is one of the few who didn’t care much. “I don’t really associate any colors with classes because… I never really have enough work to sort it as that,” Hayes said.

There are a whole lot of different opinions. Honestly, it’s surprising that there weren’t many crazy and out-of-the-box ideas. What if somebody thought that every one of the classes should be associated with yellow? Maybe you think this is right, and well, if you do, you can show the world. 

If you would like to view the survey you can find it here: 

And until the end of time, may the debate continue.