Ask a Senior!

Need some guidance? Check out this freshmen-senior Q&A!


Looking for some advice? Everyone could use some every now and then! We sent a survey seeing what questions freshmen had and found seniors to respond with a few words of wisdom.


What is the time commitment to a club? If I am playing for a GA sports team, do I have time to commit to a club considering that I am studying as well? If so, how many?

It varies for each club. Usually monthly or bimonthly meetings. Some clubs are made and almost never hold meetings. I think most clubs honestly are started and nothing actually happens, or you attend a club event twice in a school year. Therefore, commit to as many clubs as you can but no more than five. Observe how passionate the club president is to gauge how legitimate the club will be. —Anonymous

For clubs it’s case by case for sure, but you should show up. You’ll get a good idea of time commitment a few meets in for sure, ranging from participation each time to short check-in meetings. Teams and clubs can work together for sure! GA likes to prioritize its sports though, so make sure everyone’s clued into whatever you commit to. Two clubs with a sport is the highest I would go. —Jessie Ong


What is the uniform policy? I know that we have a class color of yellow and are allowed to wear white and black as well, but I see many upper school students wearing different shirts, and I don’t know how that works.

Technically, we are supposed to wear a polo shirt or GA gear. If you don’t, you risk getting an infraction. Lots of students seem to accept that risk. —Lucy Burdett

Unofficially, wait at least a month or two before starting to bend the rules a little (don’t go crazy). GA shirts are fine, and if you don’t have one keep a GA hoodie on you to hide it in classes etc! Button-ups and collared shirts in general are pretty good by the school, even though it’s not officially written. Wait until winter to wear sweats, it gets a little more flexible when it’s cold. Don’t get infracted and good luck!! —Anonymous


What tips do you have to help navigate sports and school work?

Take advantage of free periods. They often become too social. Have a set studying environment so that studying becomes habitual. If you are going to procrastinate, do it in another room and try to not study in your bedroom. Always work ahead if you can. Planners help a lot. There isn’t really a lot of homework in high school so some nights you may be tempted to do no homework at all. However there are many assessments, so even if a test is days away, take advantage of free time to study. It helps to stay at school before practice and work there even if it’s for a few hours. —Anonymous 

Freshman year is all about finding a good balance for yourself. You will learn which activities and classes take more of your time and figure out a routine that works for you. One key piece of advice is to create good relationships with your teachers and meet with them outside of the classroom. Teachers at GA are always willing to help you and occasionally give extensions if you ask with a couple days notice. —Kate Boer


As a freshman who is new to both high school and Brunswick, how do you manage to get to all your classes without getting lost and/or being late? 

I’d recommend making a grade-wide spreadsheet where everyone can input their walking times, as our grade has done before. Then, you can reach out to people who walk at the same time on social media. If that’s daunting as a new student, you can ask someone to introduce you to those people on the first day of school. You will probably get lost on both campuses in the first week, but after that you’ll know who to walk with and how to get to class 🙂 —Anonymous 

For the first couple of days, you will most likely get a little bit lost and be a little late while finding your classes. The teachers are very understanding about this during the beginning of school. After a couple days, I’m sure you will get the hang of it! The time in between classes is almost always enough for you to get across the path to Brunswick, but I would suggest sticking with someone else who’s in your class in case you get lost. Lastly, I know it can be scary, but everyone is willing to help you out, so if you don’t know where a class is, PLEASE ask an upperclassman! We love helping you find your classes, and most of us know where everything is. Plus, you might make a new friend! —Lucy Burdett


How much is too much to take on as a freshman in terms of clubs, sports, classes, etc.?

You shouldn’t do too much to the point where you have no free time to enjoy. Freshman year is a good time to navigate the level of commitment you want to make to sports, classes, and extracurriculars and it depends on what you feel. I think you’ll know when you’re doing too much, and in that case it’s totally OK to step back and reevaluate your activities. —Anonymous 

It really depends on the person. I would start by casting a wide net and trying a couple different clubs and then narrowing down your interests once you find clubs that you like. There is no perfect formula but you should not feel extremely overwhelmed your freshman year by schoolwork or sports—it’s a year to try new things and make new friends. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself freshman year, but it’s always great to join some clubs or a sports team. Varsity sports are high commitment at GA so keep that in mind when deciding how many clubs to join or which classes you are taking. —Kate Boer


How do you choose what to prioritize if your social, extracurricular, athletic, and/or academic load becomes too much?

I’ve had to spend a lot of time thinking about this over high school. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of extracurriculars for sports, but I think it’s honestly up to what you enjoy doing. For example, I usually don’t do extracurriculars in the fall or spring when I have sports six days a week, but then I choose to miss training in the winter to take time for extracurriculars. You also have advisors to help you manage course load. —Roma Desai

Balance is key in freshman year. Have fun and enjoy this social year. Relax a little, make new friends, learn, and try new things. A few bad grades will not matter in a week. Trust me, you will get into college but please don’t worry about college yet because you have a long way ahead of you. —Anonymous 

Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate what you enjoy doing the most. I know that freshman year is a time when I tried absolutely everything, but there are only 24 hours in a day. Later on in high school, I decided that I wanted to decrease time in sports to focus on my extracurriculars. This allowed me to pursue the things that I truly loved, and contributed to a healthier sleep schedule:) And please ask for extensions if you are overwhelmed! —Anonymous


Is the workload more self-initiated studying or assigned?

It depends on the class and teacher. Some classes in general are heavy in workload no matter the teacher, like honors biology. Other classes are going to feel lighter, but it doesn’t mean it’s easier to get good grades. In that case you need to figure out how well prepared you can become from doing the assigned work, and whether you need to do more on your own to feel good about the class —Anonymous 

Freshman year, there is typically more structure in terms of studying recommendations, as you are all still learning which methods of studying work best for you, but you also have to take some initiative to make sure you’re studying in a way that is productive, and isn’t all memorization. —Lucy Burdett


What’s the biggest change between middle school and high school? 

It’s so much better. Middle school SUCKS… freshman year will feel the same for a little bit, but you start meeting people who are passionate and proud of what they’re pursuing, no matter how niche, or they’re content with their interests, etc., and you get to see your friends and peers shine as they grow with you. It’s cool stuff. Plus, the teachers don’t baby you (for better or for worse). Talk to them like regular human beings! Make friends with them! Ask them for advice on your studies/what you’re interested in! You’re with them for four years, so be kind and interested and they’ll teach you about their life stories and unique experiences in small conversations. —Jessie Ong

I think everyone says this but you have so much more freedom. With free periods and classes sometimes canceled, you have a lot of free time to do whatever you want. You get used to not always being with your friends and learn to travel outside your comfort zone socially (at least this was the case for me). After freshman and sophomore year you have a lot of choice in terms of classes too. —Roma Desai


General advice?

Time really does fly, so make the most of it. Talk to new people when you can, take interesting classes, and get involved! Please, please don’t be afraid to ask questions in class, even if you think it’s embarrassing. Everyone has questions, even if they’re not asking them, and the teachers want you to understand, so there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It will definitely help you do better in the class, and you won’t regret it.  —Lucy Burdett

Be kind to yourself, and be patient! For the first few weeks, use a photo of your schedule as a lock screen. And get to know your teachers! They’re cool people who give good advice 🙂 —Anonymous