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Opening weak?

September 15, 2023 at 4:00:00 PM

Elise Gao '26

The weekend after the first week of school, my head hit my pillow but I didn’t get back up. My plans were as follows: sleep, chill, and oh, did I mention sleep? In fact, when I asked others about their weekend plans, many people mentioned sleep as the first thing they wanted to do. After an arduous first week of school, hardly anyone had the energy to do much except rest up. All around campus were complaints about this year’s first week of school schedule, which was described as “too demanding” or “lacking free time.”

The beginning of the school year has always been busy. For new students, there are many introductions to be made and information to take in: peer groups, mentor groups, and relationships that could last for the duration of their high school career (or maybe just for the weekend). For returning students, it represents an adjustment period to re-acclimate to boarding school life and catch up with friends. This year, there were also ‘trial classes,’ 25-minute introductory classes where we could get an idea of what our classes would be like. All in all, our calendars were jam-packed equally with school-related and personal plans. Kk, 

However, what really tipped the scales this year were the PGA-related activities: team breakfast, team dinner, and both morning and afternoon sessions. Students arose from their beds as early as six in the morning to get ready for a long day of pre-planned activities. Those with athletic PGAs collapsed on the nearest available surfaces between practices, and the walk back to the dorms became a race to get coveted spots in one of the showers. 

The problem with the numerous appearances PGAs made on our calendars was that it prevented us from adjusting smoothly. People on athletic teams were especially sore and tired from over four hours of practice a day. Since students had just returned from summer break, it was a drastic change in pace for many. Long hours also resulted in many injuries, and the line forming in the trainers’ was as long as the line in the dining hall during buffet lunch.

While I understand that the school does its best to ease some 400 teens back into school life, we do not need to be thrown into the deep end on the first week, especially since the opening schedule is actually busier than the normal schedule during the year. Having enough free time to adjust and build friendships is as important as learning the ropes of courses and PGAs.

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