Welcome, Freshmen! *Waves*

frosh2Imagine you are watching your favorite show. It could be Scandal or The Mindy Project. Or, if you are like me, you might like more high-school-centric shows like Gossip Girl or The O.C. To my pre-GA self, the concept of “high school” was often defined by these T.V shows.

There was glamour, intrigue, and a lot of designer clothing. The characters’ problems weren’t about studying for chemistry finals or memorizing lines for a school play—In Serena Van der Woodsen’s case, problems were more like dealing with her mother’s marriage to a business mogul or solving a fashion show crisis. But I digress.

The point is that to anyone entering high school for the first time (a nod to you incoming freshman), the concept of “high school” can seem daunting and often misleading. We are taught by popular culture that high school is about cliques, drama, and slushies being thrown in bystanders’ faces.

But high school (and GA in particular) is so much more than what T.V shows make it out to be. When I started GA as a freshman, the level of ingenuity and passion that fills our halls astounded me. It was a big step up from the large public school classes I had been used to—teachers actually cared about my opinion and students were eager to learn.

I was afraid that everyone would fit into “boxes” at GA like in Mean Girls when Janice lays out the map of the cafeteria for Cady, with the art freaks at one table and the jocks at another. At GA, there are no “jocks” or “theater people” or “geeks.” Everyone engages in the community by playing sports, auditioning for plays, and working hard academically.

As a senior, it is pretty easy for me to talk up GA to all you newcomers or advancing eighth-graders, so I may be a little biased. However, as I enter my last year at Greenwich Academy I have realized that this school has really become my home. Now, as I wear my red polo shirt for the first time, I look back on freshman year and think of all the amazing things I could have done earlier if I had realized the opportunities I had been given.

For example, I would have tried out for plays earlier than junior year. I would have committed to a few clubs rather than spreading myself too thin and signing myself up for clubs that I was interested in, but didn’t have the time for. I would have made better connections with my freshman-year teachers. I would have submitted to Daedalus. I would have taken yoga.

At Greenwich Academy, time should never be wasted. I have only one year left, but if you are a freshman reading this, then you have FOUR. Do what you will and welcome to high school. Don’t worry; it is nothing like those T.V shows you are addicted to on Netflix. It’s even better.