By Katharine ‘22
Prior to leading my first middle school campus tour, I prepared for potential questions.
“Is it true that you get 5 hours of homework a night?” No! The schedule allows for students to finish their work during free periods throughout the school day. Per our school mission statement to joyfully pursue educational excellence, classes have limits on how much homework they can assign per night.
“What’d you get on the ISEE?” Honestly, I don’t remember.
The tour went smoothly, and I felt I could confidently discuss HW. That is until the prospective father asked his final question: “Would my kid find friends here?’
The prospective student seemed perfectly nice, but I was stumped! I reflexively replied “sure, she will.” In the years since then, I have received that question many times. And I can now say without reservation, that everyone finds friends at HW.
This June I will graduate alongside 285 peers. That number may seem daunting, but I’ve found that it really isn’t. Let me explain: I’ve taken 30 classes in high school and class size ranges from 12-18 students on average. I’ve shared classes or teachers with the majority of my senior peers and I know everyone in my grades’ name.
That said, I’ve found my people— the ones that one day I will call my dearest and oldest friends. While our grade is comprised of a diverse body of individuals, everyone has found friends with shared interests or values.
I credit the grade size and schedule for fostering this phenomenon. In seventh and eighth grade, you test the waters and have a new best friend every week. Then, freshman year comes around and you’re top-dog on the lower campus. Freshman year is funny in the sense that by the end of it you will have found best friends, but they’re not necessarily the people you went into the school year expecting to be close with. Sophomore year (a.k.a. the first year on the upper school campus) shakes everything up but in a good way. In Junior year, your bonds with your peers are cemented through late-night study sessions and the maturity attached to becoming upperclassmen. Now, in senior year, there is a strong bond between all of us as we navigate our transition into the real world.
In short, HW is a well-oiled machine; every member of the HW community belongs and positively contributes to the campus culture in various ways. If you’re here, you’re here for a reason, and the second you step foot on campus, you are among friends.