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  • Zoe Fisher

Seniors Reflect on the Walls High School Experience

We asked graduating seniors a few questions about their Walls experiences. Here’s what they said.

What advice do you have for underclassmen?

“Time management: make schedules and don’t procrastinate.” — Meerabela Kempf

“Don’t take an AP just to take one. It’s not worth it. … Enjoy high school while it lasts, don’t be miserable for nothing.” — Malia Weedon

“School is important but it’s not everything. You don’t want to regret not spending enough time with the people around you.” — Charlotte Harkrader

“Enjoy your time because it goes so fast. Also genuinely care about the topic of your senior project. Also don’t apply to a ridiculous amount of colleges. More than 15 is too much.” Ryanne Barstow

“Make good friends and help each other.” — Aliyah Blake

“Don’t push yourselves too hard. Burnout is something all Walls students are bound to go through at some point, so take care of yourselves.” — Sarah Anderson

“Spend as much time as you can with your friends and make good memories, so you can reminisce about your time in high school with more positive reflections than negative ones.” — Liya Johnson

“Take the time to get to know your teachers and for your teachers to get to know you. You will never know where that can lead you and what opportunities it can bring.” — Malcolm Douglas

What are your favorite memories from your time at Walls?

“Calculus Olympics; the Rome trip; when Nathan [Bickart] and I shook up the Rock Creek Fruit Punch Reed [Polutta] had bought at the fire station vending machine and made it explode all over Commons A; winning the robotics competition this year.” — Simon Kirschenbaum

“Having engaging discussions in class, both about real things like politics and some nonsense.” — Malia Weedon

“Mr. Ghazi’s class; Street Law; not doing anything as a second-semester senior; the 2022 prom after-party.” — Ryanne Barstow

“Black History Month Assemblies.” — Aliyah Blake

“Going on the trip to Rome. It was a lot of fun, and just a really cool experience I got to share with my friends.” — Sarah Anderson

“Exchanging looks with Mr. Zara (like Jim does with the camera in “The Office”) whenever something strange or funny occurs in class, because Mr. Zara is the person to look at when those things happen.” — Liya Johnson

Students were asked to rate their Walls experience from 1-10.

7. “Covid made it worse and there is so much work but overall I liked Walls.” — Meerabela Kempf

8. “I don’t think I could have gotten a better high school education anywhere else, but I could have done better socially.” — Simon Kirschenbaum

8. “While my experience was great in the beginning, the school’s quality decreased over time.” — Nikola Nikolov

7. “I enjoyed the time I spent here, learned a lot and like most of my classmates/teachers, but I also lost a few years to Covid so that’s bringing the score down. Also, this school is too competitive and stressed out all the time. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a meltdown or two.” — Malia Weedon

8. “There were a lot of rough moments but I don’t ever regret going to Walls.” — Charlotte Harkrader

6. “There were many ups and downs. I’ve made some amazing relationships here and also have had the worst days of my life. So overall it averages around 6.” — Ryanne Barstow

8. “Overall I had an amazing time, but I did struggle a bit at first.” — Aliyah Blake

7. “I’d have to say that score is mostly because of my friends. They’ve definitely made high school not just bearable, but enjoyable, and I wouldn’t have had such a wonderful Walls experience without them.” — Sarah Anderson

9. “I absolutely loved my time at Walls. It’s a smaller school … but I’ve been able to find my community here. From being able to engage in extracurricular opportunities at Walls, I’ve been able to find and participate in what I like to do.” — Malcolm Douglas

Seniors' final thoughts on Walls

“This is a great school and I am incredibly glad I chose to come here.” — Simon Kirschenbaum

“I enjoyed it; I think it was the right choice of school and I’m glad I had this experience. That said, I’m not coming back. Good luck next year!” — Malia Weedon

“I expected it to be very different. I thought I would experience more “without walls” things, like international trips and field trips in general.” — Ryanne Barstow

“It was great. The perfect school for me, honestly.” — Aliyah Blake

“Not as bad as I’d thought it’d be.” — Liya Johnson


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