ASK A SENIOR—Back & Better Than Ever

ASK A SENIOR—Back & Better Than Ever

Looking for advice? Don’t hesitate to ask your questions and reach out for help. The class of 2023 is here to share their wisdom. Keep reading to see what this year’s senior class has to say about the uniform, a work-life balance, and their experience at GA!

How much of a time commitment are clubs? Between sports and studying, how many clubs should I take on?
I’ve been a tri-varsity athlete since my freshman year and while sports and studies are super time-consuming, don’t let that hold you back from clubs you really want to be a part of. Clubs are, for the most part, super understanding, so when you sign up, it’s likely you can drop it whenever. Put some feelers out there and see what you wanna dedicate your time to because it never hurts to try. — Anonymous

Different clubs meet with different frequencies. I find it helpful to learn how often the club is meeting when the club sign-ups are going around. Each year I’ve done about 2-3 clubs that meet either weekly or monthly. Also, it is very easy to join a club late, so if you realize you have plenty of free time, you can throw another club in the loop. — Ellie

What is the uniform policy? I know our class color is yellow and we can wear white or black polos as well, but looking around the high school, people don’t always seem to stick to that.
I try to stay as in dress code as possible and usually express my fashion through jewelry or the sweaters I wear. Generally, the policy that I see is, don’t wear red unless you’re a senior, and on perfect uniform days, follow all the standard uniform rules. Otherwise, you can pretty much wear whatever you like as long as you keep the kilt on. — Anonymous 

As you go through high school, you’ll see that nobody really cares, except for some teachers. I am not encouraging rule-breaking. However, you will see that a lot of students after a week or two start wearing whatever shirt/sweaters/sweatshirt they want. There is a shoe policy, but absolutely no one listens to it. My only advice is, don’t wear your kilt too short–there is literally no purpose, no one needs to see that. Also, accessories help so much. — Honour Russell 

What is your advice for balancing athletics and academics?
No matter how swamped you are with work, put it out of mind during practice/games, because it really won’t do you any good. I try to keep my athletic and academic lives separate, so I can just focus on one at a time and prevent myself from getting too overwhelmed. — Anonymous

The GA/WCK teachers are very understanding when it comes to athletic conflicts because many of them coach sports too. With that being said, they will still be irritated if you do not ask for extensions or email about missing class for a game in advance. With early communication and meetings with my teachers, I found that I was never behind in my classes. Another piece of advice is to use your free periods wisely!!! It’s so easy to get distracted in the freshmen hallway, so I found it best to go to the library. With an hour of focused work during the day, I felt a lot less stressed after sports when it was time to start my homework. — Ellie

Make a schedule. Use your free period wisely. And just take things one step at a time. Don’t worry about your test while at practice and don’t worry about practice during your test. Always remember, GA wants you to succeed in all aspects of student life and you have a support system if you need one. If it gets too difficult to balance for a day, reach out to somebody and they will help you. — Kate Haffenreffer

Being new to the high school and adding in the Brunswick campus, how do I manage getting to classes on time without getting lost?
Find a friend! I promise you’ll figure it out fast but, until then, walking to Brunswick with a friend or two will resolve all of those worries. — Anonymous 

After the first week, you’ll be totally fine. But for those first couple of days, don’t be afraid to ask an older GA student where to go! We’re happy to help out. — Anonymous 

How do you choose what to prioritize if your social, extracurricular, athletic, and/or academic load becomes too much? Should academics always come first?
It’s up to you to decide where your priorities lie; for the most part, try to put your academics first, but if you want to be committed to your sport, realize when that needs to be top priority. Above all should be your mental health, so know yourself and how you will be affected, so if bad grades bring you down focus on that, if you need to be with friends for a day and get away from your studies- do that. — Anonymous 

I think your mental health should come before all of that. Honestly, it’s really easy to say that academics should come first, and I’ve done that before. But none of those things can matter if you aren’t feeling good, so take time to yourself. Relax, and what is important will make itself clear. One thing I do is use deadlines as a way to prioritize. — Anonymous 

What’s the biggest difference between middle school and high school?
The biggest difference is that you are not always being watched/controlled. Your typical HS day is structured differently. You have a lot more free time, which is both good and bad. With this free time, it is very nice to spend a lot of it with friends–I find that to be a great destresser. However, on the flip side, it is important to get work done in your free time. With having more freedom, teachers are not on your back as much as MS. With that being said, it is up to you to know when you should meet with a teacher. In my opinion, you will never regret meeting with a teacher for extra help as it only strengthens your relationship with them and gets you extra practice with the material. — Ellie

Honestly, I saw big changes, yes, but it was mostly within myself. It’s kind of a time to start anew even if you’ve been at GA forever. I kind of reinvented myself. Having classes with Wick guys is not as big of a deal as you might think. — Honour Russell

How do you recommend spending your free periods?
I recommend meeting with teachers and trying to get as much homework done in free periods. Teachers want you to stop by if you have questions and are always there to help. After school we have sports and extracurriculars, so waiting till late at night to do all of your homework is added stress. — Anonymous

If I have a heavy sports schedule or a game, I try to use my time productively and get work done so that I don’t have to stay up too late finishing. But I always try to give myself at least a little time to decompress/socialize as a break in the middle of the day. — Anonymous 

What advice would you give your freshman self?
Hands-down this is the single piece of advice I wish I heard at the start of my freshmen year. GA has incredible opportunities, so take advantage of as many as possible! Sign up for clubs, round-table discussions, and workshops with guests! Sometimes it is intimidating to enter these new spaces, so bring a friend and you will not regret it! One last piece of advice I have is to form relationships with your teachers. GA has some of the most incredible people! In my junior year especially, I got really close with some of my teachers and they made my HS experience even better. It’s hard to imagine I’ll be leaving these teachers in a year, so take advantage of all the time you have with them!! — Ellie

One: be more organized and test your limits a little bit more while there’s room for error. Sophomore and junior years can get very stressful and I wish I had established study habits as a freshman so I could know what my boundaries were. Two: it all works out in the end. It does, you’ll be okay. So many people at GA worry about the slightest things (grades, friend groups, sports teams, etc). As much as we’re told not to, we’re all guilty of doing it. I’ve had my fair share of not-so-good test grades and I survived. I promise you, you will recover from anything, and that one thing you were so freaked out about will become a distant memory. — Kate Haffenreffer

Take advantage of the extra help opportunities GA gives. — Anonymous 

Don’t hold onto the past too much. Be brave. High school is a time to find yourself and figure out what you want to be/who you want to be. Also, no one really cares about the smaller things, if you embarrass yourself, no one will remember in a day. You do you! — Honour Russell