First year or last in the upper school, the start lands different

September 14, 2022

New to the upper school, freshmen learn new community

Freshman Roman Farley felt a nervous sensation when he walked through the Huss Center doors at the start of the year. Despite feeling uneasy about how the day was going to go, Farley also felt hopeful and excited about his first day of high school. He said that after attending orientation earlier in the week, “I felt pretty ready.”

Being on the Randolph Campus for middle school prepared him through advisory: “I would say that it is similar to eighth grade because of the independence building up. I do feel like it’s a lot less connected [to my peers] than eighth grade was, though.”

Freshman Katy Devine, who went to Visitation School for middle school, walked into Huss feeling a little intimidated by the number of people, but still optimistic. Compared to her old school, Devine noticed that “SPA holds a much smaller class size” which she prefers, she said.

She knew the students in her advisory due to orientation, which helped her get accustomed.

Seniors start year with an eye on college

Senior Solvej Graff believes SPA has thoroughly prepared her for life after high school. Graff shared that some of her family members who are alumni of SPA felt the same way as upperclassmen. Although she feels prepared, Graff is still uneasy about the transition to college.

“I think it will be a difficult transition,” she said. “I’m not sure what’s to come… and that difficulty is something I’m working through right now. And I hope that I’m not alone among my peers in that because it’s a big transition.”

Graff is also hoping to pursue her gymnastics career beyond high school, and that is factoring into her college search.

Senior Leo Sampsell-Jones reflected fondly on the four years he has spent at SPA. He said, “I’m grateful for the time I had at SPA …. and it kind of feels like home to me.”

He feels the upper school has prepared him for a career in linguistics and although he will miss some aspects of the community, he’s excited to move on and grow. Sampsell-Jones said that SPA has been a largely good fit for him and he’s glad he chose to go to SPA when looking for a high school. He is thankful that he got to experience high school life at SPA, “even through its horror stories and good times.”

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