Ask a Senior: Sophomore Edition!

As part of a recurring feature in GAP, we paired the ’24s and the ’22s to ask and answer questions on topics ranging from the college application process to dating advice.


How are you?

Thanks for asking! It’s definitely busier and more hectic than junior year, which I guess I kind of expected but still felt unprepared for—however, at the end of the day I’ve made it this far, so I guess I’m just where I need to be. —Alison Sun

I’m great! I’m so excited for all the events in the next few weeks and I’m really looking forward to being done with the college process. While I’m super stressed and bombarded with supplements, I’m managing it all. —Jaden Sacks

Hungry. —Roma Desai


When should we (the sophomores) start thinking about college?

Not yet! For now, focus on finding things that YOU enjoy being involved in, not for college. Next year, you can start thinking about it more. In the meantime, let yourself jump into the things you find at GA that you love! —Anonymous

Not until the middle of junior year. It’s impossible to ask you to put it out of your radar, but try to live in the moment until then. Once you get to junior and senior year, you’ll feel much more certain about yourself as a student and person. In sophomore year, I definitely was pretty insecure about myself as a person and student, so the worst thing to do to myself was to think about college because I didn’t think I would get in anywhere. You have a lot of growing to do and I promise that although the road is tough, you can handle it. —Alexis Rodgers

I wouldn’t think about which colleges you might be interested in until junior winter. For now, you can think about aspects of your own path, character, and interests that will help you prepare for the college search. Basically, think about what characteristics are distinctly “you” (ex: sport, hobby, a particular subject, passion, etc.) so it’s easier to know what you want in a college, but don’t explicitly start college hunting. —Alison Sun


When did you start thinking about college? (Note: This is a different question.)

I’ve always had college on the back of my mind since freshman year and that’s honestly why I’m advising that you don’t do the same. It was unproductive anxiety and didn’t give me a head start in any way. In fact, I got so stressed out about college by junior year that I couldn’t start actively researching my potential list until late junior spring because just thinking about where I might want to apply made me too anxious. —Alison Sun

I honestly did not know much about the college process until I got a college counselor halfway through junior year. I knew where I wanted to ED but I didn’t know anything about common app and essays. I took my first SAT in March of my junior year and my second the August right before senior year. —Anonymous

Since I was in the recruiting process, I started figuring out what I wanted around freshman year. —Cameron Brower


What is one piece of advice you wish you heard and/or listened to as an underclassman?

It’s more than okay if you get a lower grade than what you want. As long as you try your best, that’s all that anyone can ever ask of you. Some days your best is studying for hours. Others, it’s opening your notes and glancing at them for five minutes. —Alexis Rodgers

Every stressful academic situation is temporary. Keep your head up and power through, and you will make it to the other side. Make your future self proud with the choices you make. —Anonymous

Don’t build a resume, get involved in the things you find that you enjoy and your resume will build itself. —Anonymous

Grades are never as important as sleep and mental health! —Miranda Calver


What is your biggest regret from high school?

Wishing it would pass faster. —Cameron Brower

I wish I had more fun and didn’t take myself so seriously. —Alexis Rodgers

I wish I put more effort into learning how to manage my time better so I could have a healthier work/social/self-care balance. —Alison Sun

Trusting some people that I shouldn’t have. GA provides a wonderful education but is cutthroat and competitive socially. Sometimes the only person with your best interest in mind is you. Think before you share fragile information with people, even your friends, and stay away from rumors. —Anonymous


Advice for dating? Are high school relationships a waste of time?

I don’t think they’re a waste of time! If you’re dating someone in school, make sure to keep your friends out of it. Just make sure you’re making your friends feel equally as important as your s/o because it’s super easy to get carried away with a partner. —Alexis Rodgers

Dabble in it as much or as little as you wish—for some, it’s more of a casual, fun experience to try out, and for others, they’re testing out potentially serious paths. No pressure either way because in the end, high school is just a chance to explore. —Alison Sun


Do you have any of the same friends you started high school with?

I switched schools for 10th grade, but I have a similar group of friends that I had when I came to GA. High school is full of amazing friendships but also petty toxic drama. It’s important to just “do you” and continue to be the person that you want to be regardless of friends and drama. —Jaden Sacks

Yes! Small but strongly-bonded friend groups are so underrated. Some people drifted in and out of my social circle over the years, but at the core, my few close friends remain the same. —Alison Sun

One or two. Things definitely change but it’s for the best. —Alexis Rodgers


Is there anything important for us to know/any advice you have about the college application process in general?

My biggest piece of advice is not to let the college process consume your life. It is very easy to get sucked in and eat, sleep, and breathe college, but do not let that happen. Throughout the college process, it is important not to disturb your normal routine and to keep doing what makes you happy. Don’t give up activities or not hang out with your friends because you have college work to do. Savor every single moment and do not let college consume you! —Jaden Sacks

Try not to let it take over every conversation with your peers and family. It’s exhausting for both you and others to hear and talk about. Plus, it can get toxic or uncomfortable fast. Everyone’s process is completely individual and unique, and talking or knowing about others’ processes doesn’t affect your own or give you any advantage. Try to be supportive of each other and respect others’ privacy. —Alison Sun

Focus on the strength of your own application, not other peoples’. You are perfect just the way you are and a test score cannot change that! Let your true self shine on your applications. Also, rely on your college counselors. They are there to help you and have answers for any question you have. —Anonymous

Start the summer before senior year! —Alexis Rodgers & Roma Desai


Is there anything important for us to know/any advice you have about the recruitment process for sports?

Stay communicative with coaches. Attitude is just as important as skill and fitness. Don’t be cocky when it comes to other people knowing (things might get tense between friendships). Don’t assume things about others’ recruiting processes; just worry about yourself and work hard. —Cameron Brower

Be proactive with coaches you are talking to and keep working hard and having a good attitude when you start speaking to them. Still, always put school first and don’t choose a school you don’t like just to say you got recruited. —Anonymous

Be open and honest with coaches; they want to help you. —Anonymous


How important is each year of high school?

They’re equally important in different ways, but I think this question concerns grades mostly, so I’ll just say that yes, underclassmen years are not as crucial as later years, but it’s a bad idea to just wing it and expect your upperclassman self to bring up your overall GPA. It’s a bad balance and it’s not realistic. By the middle of junior year, your grades won’t change much at all based on how hard you work from then on. Those transcripts are made up of your freshman, sophomore, and junior grades, and maybe half of your senior year grades. The underclassmen years make up a significant part here. —Alison Sun

Junior year grades matter, so don’t slack. Freshman year is about acclimating, and sophomore year is about placing into good classes to set up for junior year. —Anonymous

Time flies. Enjoy and embrace each year’s pros and cons. —Cameron Brower