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  • Leah Levy

“Put Yourself Out There”: Senior Advice to Freshmen

Despite only having attended Walls for a few months, the new class of 2027 has already claimed the couches on the first floor and even won this year’s hallway decorating competition. Nevertheless, the transition from middle to high school is an ongoing process, and, while they have become accustomed to life at Walls, the transition from middle to high school will never be easy. New Walls students are still adjusting to a heavier course load and getting to know unfamiliar peers. Luckily for the class of 2027, the seniors from the class of 2024 have plenty of advice to share. 


The seniors understand the academic climate at Walls and they have some tips for dealing with a heavy course load. Darya Filippova (‘24) recommended “watching YouTube videos,” particularly for subjects like physics and advanced math. She also emphasized the importance of diligent note-taking and consistent studying. Lily Turcotte Keen (‘24) added that an “organizational method” such as keeping an agenda is important to keep track of homework assignments. She also advocates tackling assignments promptly, and said to “always try and do small work either during school or the day that you get it.”


Julia Kelly (‘24) stressed the importance of establishing good study habits early on, urging freshmen to maintain these habits even if they initially feel comfortable with the workload. Especially since “a lot of people come into Walls already being good students,” she said that it is important to not be overconfident and to stay on top of your work. 


Recognizing the challenges of adjusting to a new social environment, the seniors also recommended actively engaging with the school community in order to develop new relationships. Alex Benach (‘24) encouraged new students to “put themselves out there” by joining clubs and attending sports games. And, despite initial fears associated with interacting with older students, Abi Mcgraw Traser (‘24) said, “don’t be afraid of the seniors and the juniors because they’re going to like you and think that you’re cute.” 

“Well, be a little scared,” interjected Ginger Burke (‘24). 


However, there is not one way to participate in the Walls community. While Burke recommended joining lots of clubs, Ainhoa Aron (‘24) cautioned against joining too many of them in order to maintain a well-balanced schedule. Regarding clubs, Ayele Gousseva (‘24) advised freshmen to seek out upperclassmen to discover unique and interesting clubs not always featured at club fairs. Finally, in order to make connections within their own grade, Turcotte-Keen urged freshmen to “make an effort to speak to everybody and make sure to at least know their name.” 


Above all, the seniors emphasized the importance of balance. They encouraged students to study hard and excel academically, but also to be aware of their social and emotional well-being. Turcotte-Keen said, “Just make sure that you’re being cognizant about your social-emotional situation and also balancing that with academics. Lean on your teachers and your counselors because they understand that their students are transitioning from middle to high school so they are going to offer support.”


Benach advised, “follow the path that’s right for you … you should just do what’s going to make you happiest.”


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