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Greenwich Academy Press

Greenwich Academy Press

Allison Williams Shares Wisdom with Junior Class


Photos by Charlotte Warne


On Tuesday October 29, Greenwich Academy alumnus and actress from the HBO Series Girls, Ms. Allison Williams, ‘06, spoke to Group XI in Young Auditorium. Her highly anticipated visit broke the seemingly mundane five-week stretch until Thanksgiving break and imparted valuable wisdom to the junior class.

One of Williams’ primary objectives was to discourage the stress and competition that is infamous during junior year. She encouraged the Group XI girls to recognize that high school is painfully short, and therefore to realize how crucial it is to forge bonds between peers.

Instead of letting the competition that comes with high school ruin friendships and create tension within the grade, Williams advised the girls to celebrate each other’s interests, not put them down. In addition, she stressed that although details might seem pivotal in the moment, they quickly become trivial with time. She encouraged GA girls to look at the world through a broader lens.

Another key point that Williams made in her talk was the importance of following your passions, as she has done with acting. She shared the story of her path to success, which began when she posted a video of herself singing lyrics she had written to the Mad Men theme song.

Firmly believing in her talents and ardor for performing, she moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduating from Yale University and auditioned for Girls one month later.

She has brought her character, Marnie, Lena Dunham’s best friend on the show, to life. Marnie, a young woman in her 20s struggling for perfection, is relatable to all viewers, as is Williams herself. The entire class remarked how normal and authentic she was, which she credits to a supportive network of family and friends.

Williams also shared anecdotes from her high school years. She comically told the familiar story of memorizing a crush’s backpack on the path, and how she swooned whenever the object was in sight. Williams also described the inner-workings of her risqué scenes on the show, which sent the room into hysterics. Her humor, sarcasm, and candor made her wonderfully relatable.

“It was nice to see someone go through the same things other people may go through and I thought that her advice was very good to follow your passions and appreciate each other because I don’t feel that we do that enough in our community,” said Charlotte Gilliland, Group XI.

Williams’ words of wisdom will continue to resonate with the entire grade. A poised and successful alumnus, she walked the path and survived Ms. Margi Pasquet math tests just like us.

She reminded us that no one is perfect. Even she has made all the typical mistakes of high school – dating the wrong Brunswick boys, trying to be friends with the wrong people, and gossiping incessantly with her classmates.

Her visit reminded the junior girls that life is quick, especially in high school, and that these four years should be used to build meaningful friendships and pursue what matters to you.



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Allison Williams Shares Wisdom with Junior Class