Class of 2017: Setting sail for Uni
Published: Monday, May 21, 2012 - 3:48pm
Thanks to Even Dankowicz, Alana Rosenbaum and Luke Karmazin for contributing to this article.
As the 2011-2012 school year comes to a close, the incoming subfreshman class of 2017 is preparing for their five years at Uni High. Before the new class comes though, we must send off our current seniors. The departing seniors, as well as the current subfreshmen, have offered some advice to the new subfreshmen class on how to get by at Uni.
Classes and work load
One of the main draws of Uni High is our challenging academic curriculum. With the heavy homework load and busy schedule, most Uni students think that it is key to have good relationships with your teachers.
Current subbfreshman Beth Geistlinger says, "Well, if [you] ever need help, there’s always somebody there to help you, and you can always [...] email a teacher or [...] talk to them. At first you don’t really want to [talk to the teachers], but you’ll find it really helpful in the end."
Time management is also something that subfreshmen have to learn very quickly.
"There is definitely more work [at Uni] than there is in middle schools," explains Senior Tanya Denisova. "But I think that the teachers do a good job of easing in students to all of the work."
The importance of time management is something that all students, subfreshmen through seniors, can agree on.
Current subfreshman Jazmin Tweedle advises that "you have to be sure to manage your time and not procrastinate, because if you do then you will probably get swamped and overwhelmed with your work."
Before school starts each year, the incoming class has an orientation for new students known simply as subbie orientation. This is where students are informed about what it's like to be a Uni student. Subbie orientation gives them a chance to explore the building, meet their new teachers, and bond with their class before the school year begins.
Current subbie Katie Tender "wish[es] someone had told me a little more about each teacher, [...] what each teacher's teaching style was and what they expect, because lots of teachers have different expectations."
Another useful tip to keep in mind throughout subfreshman year is to be organized. The school provides each subfreshman an assignment notebook that they can use to stay organized. According to Counselor Rachel Jackson Green, the counseling staff holds workshops for students to help them learn how to manage their priorities.
"It would really help subbies if [they] organize what [they're] going to do," says Subfreshman Natalie Dullerud. "I've gotten planners in years before and I never really used them, but this year I actually did, and I was a lot more organized. I got everything in on time, so I would advise doing that."
One easy step to get off on the right foot with teachers is to have all school supplies by the first day of school, as many subbies in past years have learned.
Current subbie Robert Stavins advises against "getting on teachers' bad sides, [...] do your homework on time, because then that’ll get you on their good side, and [...] don’t let them hate you."
Coming in from other schools where you may have been at the top of your class, and adjusting to the more competitive environment of Uni can be difficult for many students.
"I wish someone had said 'You won't be the smartest person anymore,'" reflects Senior Thomas Lawless.
Sports and Fitness
Uni's fitness program is legendary, and incoming subfreshmen will soon meet the teachers behind it: Doug Mynatt, Rebecca "Merf" Murphy, and Sally Walker. In addition to our fitness program, subfreshmen can join some of Uni High's sports, which all have no-cut policies.
Subfreshmen have the option of participating in Cross Country, subfreshman Basketball, or Track.
"Join the cross country team because it’s a lot of fun and you’ll make a lot of friends," Hummel advises.
Many seniors have really enjoyed their time spent participating in Uni High sports. One such senior is Abby Radnitzer, who says that "trying cross country was a good thing. I've enjoyed all the sports at Uni. You should try cross country at least once."
As incoming students come in for their visit day, and their later orientation, they will begin to meet the class that will be with them for the next five years. During those five years, it is important to maintain good relationship with classmates.
Senior Vivian Hagerty puts it simply.
"Have a social life," she says.
Because students will have a chance to meet with their class before the school year starts, Radnitzer says it's important to "make a good first impression."
Other seniors offered advice as to how to best to navigate the social life at Uni.
With the serious academic competition and changing schools, senior Juan Chapa says, "[Don't] take everything too seriously [...] be yourself!"
Getting along with your class is not the only important part of surviving Uni High. You also have to survive the building.
With the four story tall building, the workout of walking to the third floor every day may take some getting used to. Due to that three-story climb, current subbie Lyle Regenwetter says, "don't bother keeping your locker locked, because you're just going to regret wasting time later."
Don't get too worried, though. With the open environment and small classes, it's not hard to get to know everyone in the class. Be sure to take advantage of your time before school starts to get to know your future classmates.
"Uni is a cool school and don’t be nervous when you enter, because everyone is nervous and you’ll make friends," Regenwetter also advises.
One thing Uni students always complain about is lack of sleep, so try hard to set up good sleeping habits starting subfreshman year.
If that doesn't work, Senior Rohit Palekar says to "at least try to."
Another great opportunity that Uni has is all of its active clubs. During any given week there may be as many as 20 club meetings. Clubs vary from activism clubs, such as Habitat for Humanity and United for Uganda (UFU), to more laid-back clubs, like Asian Media club.
Some graduating seniors, such as Hagerty, regret not taking full advantage of Uni's clubs.
Many of the clubs that meet regularly are during lunch or Uni period, and many students bring their lunch to club meetings in order to participate in the the club's activity for the day. Uni's clubs are open for all students to join.
All of this advice may be scaring you, but you don't need to worry. You will be assigned a nice 'subbie buddy' who will be there to help you if you have problems, you'll have great teachers who will ease you into the heavier workload, and an incredibly open environment for you to grow in for the next five years. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and try to have fun.