Tips for new students


Julia Henning and Parker Briggs

September at AWS is an exciting time marked by all things new– new pencils, new paper, new classes, and of course new faces. But if you are one of those new students, the transition into the school year can seem daunting. To help make this busy transition go smoother, Inkwell collected tokens of advice.

Inkwell: “What advice would you have wanted to hear when you came into the Upper School?”

Eli Dugan, 11th grade: “Take advantage of the small class sizes. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a teacher; that is why they are here.”

Victoria Menzies, 11th grade: “Your friends are still gonna be there after you finish your homework. Do your work. You may think ‘oh, it doesn’t matter’ but if you work hard now, you will reap the benefits later. I see so many students who slack off and then they don’t get the test grade they want and then in turn, they just keep slacking off because they think ‘what’s the point?’, but no, do your homework!”

Joshua Beard, 9th grade: “Get your homework done early- don’t put it off if you have time now.”

Ava Filiss, 11th grade: “Know that you’re going to get to know everyone in your class really well. So you’re not gonna end up being too worried about that and about making new friends. Stay on top of your school work. Use tutorial and things will be a lot easier for you. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from any of your teachers because they want to hear what you need help with.”

Joey Im, 11th grade: “If you want to make a friend, you should be the first one to reach out. The odds of making friends are much higher that way. Relationships with your peers are important– they will help you get through your hardships like they have helped me through mine.”

Katherine Christensen, 11th grade: “Prioritize the things that you care about. At a school like Annie Wright, you’re not gonna be able to get perfect straight A’s in every single class. Annie Wright is extremely academically rigorous and you shouldn’t put the expectation on yourself to do that. It’s good to use freshman year to try out a lot of stuff and find out what your passions are because there are a lot of opportunities at Annie Wright to explore your passions. I think we have a lot of unique programs and you should really find what you love.”

Aiden Thumman, 10th grade: “Just give up your phone– don’t bother trying to keep it on you. And always wear a belt!” 

Jessica Zou, 12th grade: “Everything is going to be fine, there is no need to be anxious. Everything will work out. As long as you try your best, that will always be enough. Know what to put your time towards. Prioritize your health, school, and making connections with everyone.”

Thinh Dang, 11th grade: “Start a conversation with someone now– it only gets harder later in the year.”

Nina Ye, 12th grade: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I remember being a freshman and feeling so overwhelmed. Everyone was using these IB terms and these abbreviations I had never heard. I think the upperclassmen at Annie Wright are super supportive and encouraging and are always there to help you.”