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The Stairs to Growth and Friendship at the Upper School

By Lisa ’26

As we prepared for our transition to high school, our dean reminded us about the unknown challenges ahead. I took it lightly, assuming it was just an overstatement. The HW upper school is known for having more stairs, as well as challenges, than middle school. Well, this seemed intimidating. But this assumption soon proved more nuanced than that.

In my daily rush between buildings, the seemingly endless stairs at the upper school consistently left me out of breath. The stairs transcended their role as mere connectors between floors, evolving into my daily mountain, rigorously testing my physical and mental endurance. The real turning point came less than a month in, when in my rush, I stumbled and fractured my wrist. This incident was a stark reminder of my underestimation. Struggling with my cast, navigating through the stairs turned into a daily ordeal.

Yet, when one door closes, another opens. During these times, unexpected kindness emerged. Peers, once strangers, began offering help as I navigated through stairs with difficulty. Some became my companions, sharing survival tips for high school life. It went beyond mere physical aid; these moments were the seeds of new friendships.

The stairs, once my foe, transformed into a place of solidarity, and laughter for me now. They became our gathering spot, where interesting things were discussed, and meeting spot, where you might meet your friend and says a quick “Hi!” to them during class breaks. Each step became a mini-adventure, reflecting our collective journey towards maturity and forging deeper friendships.

In the end, the stairs at high school campus symbolize more than a physical obstacle, but also the journey of personal growth, learning, and connection building. These stairs stand as a powerful metaphor, reinforcing the idea that our most daunting challenges often lead to the most fulfilling rewards.

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Tags: Last modified: December 15, 2023