Small Fish in a Big Pond

Fast forward one year, what do the Grade Eights now think of the Senior School?

By: John Wang (Grade 11)

Junior school students tend to see the Senior School as an intimidating place. I wanted to see how their perspectives have changed after experiencing the Senior School for themselves. I sat down with a couple of Grade 8s to have a conversation about their experiences so far.

I first sat down with the charismatic Samarth Goyal who took advantage of all the new opportunities in the Senior School. He took part in this year’s school production “Auntie Mame” and became an instant crowd-favourite. He loves the extra freedom of learning in the Senior School. Instead of having to study a fixed few courses, he can choose the courses he’s curious to learn more about and therefore he feels more engaged while learning. For example, Samarth’s favourite course in the Junior School was English. However, as he discovered more and more about the sciences, he became interested in advancing in that area and eventually wants to take biology, physics, and chemistry.

Another thing Samarth wholeheartedly appreciates is the availability and respect from the teachers. “The teachers are approachable and very easy to talk to,” he says with a smile on his face, “most importantly, they’re always very patient when explaining things to you.” He believes that his learning experience has benefited greatly from the positive relationships he has formed with teachers. He hopes others use the teachers’ good qualities as an opportunity to help members of the WPGA community form even stronger bonds.

Before he came to the Senior School, Samarth was afraid that the higher grades would not want anything to do with him. He was very relieved when he found out the truth: The older kids are generally quite friendly and willing to talk to him, whether it’s in the hallways or during the school play. In fact, Samarth even became good friends with a few of them. When asked about what he wants to do in the future, he believes that it is something he will figure out in the coming years of high school. He is very optimistic about the future and hopes to inspire others with his charisma.

Next, I spent a brief amount of time with another aspiring actor in this year’s play—Liam Dachner. Similarly to Samarth, he also liked and benefited from many cross-grade friendships. It made him feel comfortable to step up and it is one of the reasons why he decided to audition for the school play. His opinion on teachers is very similar to Samarth’s. He feels that it is much much easier to form a strong connection with teachers working in the Senior School. Liam also provided his little piece of advice for the future high-schoolers back in the Junior School. He says that it is very helpful to make friends with older students. They will inspire you in many ways, whether it be excelling academically, lending a helping hand to others, or being an exceptional athlete. They are also generally willing to give you advice; so if you have a question, just ask away! As for his interests beyond high school, Liam is not very sure and hope to figure it out as he grows along with the rest of the wolfpack.

Lastly, I interviewed the talented Jack Millos. He absolutely adores the welcoming environment here and loves the unique relationships between students across all of the Senior School. “Back in the junior school”, he recalls, “everybody just stayed in their little groups. From what I have experienced, people in the senior school tend to mix together.” And mixing together with others is exactly what he did. With his friendly personality and love for helping others, he has become a popular figure in the Senior School. “[The environment] made me feel very comfortable doing what I love,” Jack says cheerfully. He is already an important member on the service council and tries to join as many club and participate in as many school events as possible. You may have noticed his dazzling performance at Coffee House, where he showcased his guitar skills!

Back in the Junior school, Jack’s dream was to study business. However, upon coming to the Senior School, he is fascinated by the many different interesting options for his future.

He now believes that as long as he follows his philosophy of trying new things, he will figure it out as he progresses through high school.

Some advice Jack would like to give to the upcoming high schoolers in Grade 7 is to try as many new things as you can because you’ll likely find something you really enjoy. For example, this year, he decided to experience something new – debate. It turns out that he really enjoys it and became an active member of the debate team. He thinks that as people get older, they’ll have more and more responsibilities and less time to explore their interests, so now is the perfect time to start trying new things.

The many doubts and worries of upcoming Senior School students are always quickly dispelled by WPGA’s warm, supportive, and inclusive community. We hope to continue this tradition and prepare to welcome the wolfpack of next year with patience, open-mindedness, and care.

 

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