Last night several alumni who are currently in high school came back to speak to 8th grade families about their transition to high school, the workload, the social scene, how they balance extracurriculars with academics, and how they made the final decision in choosing their schools. Quotes from alumni are included below to give you a sense of their responses.
Schools represented included Central High School, Science Leadership Academy, Carver High School of Engineering and Science, Friends' Central School, the Academy at Palumbo, Germantown Friends School, The Baldwin School, School of the Sacred Heart, The Shipley School, and St. Andrews School.
We asked them about a class that they particularly enjoyed, and here are their answers: calculus, biology, advanced physics, robotics, and European history!
About the transition from TPS to high school…
"Moving to a bigger school, you don’t have the same one-on-one with teachers."
"Being part of the soccer team was a really great way to meet other students that have a similar interest." (Most on the panel agreed that extracurriculars and clubs are a great way to meet people at a new school.)
About the high school workload….
"Emily Marston’s workload in 8th grade will prepare you for wherever you could go." (Many agreed!)
“I felt prepared from the 8th grade stress and learned how to step back and prioritize work."
Some thoughts about extracurriculars…
"They are a great way to meet people in other grades."
"Time management is key if [you're] involved with extracurriculars. Finding time within the day to do work -- going to the library at lunch, meeting with teachers, making use of study hall, etc. -- can all help."
"Clubs are a really good thing to take part in. Reach out to teachers when you need help with time management."
"Extracurriculars can be challenging in terms of time, such as having orchestra at 7:20 a.m. and then sports after school."
Making the big and final decision…
"Make a list of pros and cons for each school."
"Look for a school where you can be yourself and also where it can help guide you to being your best self."
"Look at many schools that have different things to offer. Visit them and go with the one where you can see yourself in the classes and feel a connection to the students there."
"TPS makes us very diverse as students. No matter where you go, you will be able to make it work. At TPS we are exposed to many different perspectives.”
"Check the stats of the schools and make sure it is one that colleges will want to see."
Tips for the high school social scene…
"Though there may be the clique of students who do drugs, it is more than acceptable to not be a part of that scene. You will find friends who are like you, and there will be no pressure."
"Upperclassmen are actually very nice and helpful."