A Fresh Take on MLWGS

Amanda Mier, Features Editor

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You, a mere five-foot, fourteen-year-old freshman, are attempting fruitlessly to find your FIRC class. Where, oh where, is the elusive second-floor “high end?” Is it a fable, a myth, an oasis?

You, a mere five-foot-two, seventeen-year-old senior, are lounging in the commons on the new couch playing Super Mario Bros. Do you know where your next class is? Yes, and you are in no hurry to get there. You have discovered the mysterious high end of the school.

Throughout history, there have been numerous dynamic duos. Batman and Robin. Bert and Ernie. Thelma and Louise. Chandler and Joey. Thing 1 and Thing 2. Mario and Luigi. But in the context of Maggie Walker, nary a duo is as dynamic as that between underclassmen and upperclassmen siblings. The first week of school, regardless of grade, is consistently tricky. However, with an upperclassmen sibling comes invaluable advice and a variety of experiences.

Amongst the freshmen, opinions on classes easily reached a consensus: “the classes were a little boring because it was mostly about rules and handing out syllabi,” explained Cary Miller (‘20). Her older sister Halle, (‘17), reported having undergone the same issue throughout high-school, declaring, “I wish I had been told to take more classes that I had wanted to take rather than ones I felt like I had to.” Navigating the school curriculum, however, is not as immediate a dilemma as navigating the halls. To further aid her younger sister, Halle Miller (`17) “drew her a map of the school,” and, according to Cary, “periodically checked up on [her].” This precaution was necessary as Halle “still knows seniors who get lost.” Just as the difference between right and left can prove challenging to some students, so too can traversing Maggie Walker’s multitude of floors. Olivia Ratliff (‘17) said that the first day gave her a  “newfound appreciation for escalators and ski lifts and other mechanisms which might make the trek up to the 3rd floor more tolerable.”

An additional universal qualm related to the first day of school: what to wear. This is especially difficult for freshmen, who are making their first real impression on the rest of the student body. Noah Ratliff (‘20), younger brother of Olivia Ratliff (‘17) and Elizabeth Ratliff (‘15), reported that he “sort of just picked out a generic collared shirt and some cargo pants…although Elizabeth helped me buy the clothes.” Comfort appeared to be the primary factor in outfit consideration, as Cary Miller (‘20) stated her dress choice fit the categories of “comfortable and not too dressy,” and Matthew Fitchett (‘20) perhaps best explained his attitude towards fashion: “On the first couple of days, I was definitely concerned with having a good outfit, because I wanted to make a good impression. However, as the week passed by, I paid less attention to what I was wearing because I knew it didn’t matter if I looked perfect or not.”

Less frivolous, however, are the aspirations of this year’s seniors for their freshmen siblings. Evan Fitchett, (‘17), hopes that Matthew will exit his senior year with “an interest in the community at Maggie Walker.” Halle Miller, a senior, hopes her younger sister “makes a lot of friends and…doesn’t get…too stressed out with school.”

 

Olivia Ratliff (`17) and Noah Ratliff (`21) on the first day of school. Photo courtesy of Olivia Ratliff.

Olivia Ratliff (`17) and Noah Ratliff (`21) on the first day of school. Photo courtesy of Olivia Ratliff.

And how have the elder seniors changed since their youthful freshmen days? According to Evan, confidence is the largest alteration: “I think I definitely have more confidence that everything will work out all right.” Olivia Ratliff (‘17) concurred: “Am I more confident in the sense that I don’t really care what other people think about me anymore? Absolutely. More confident that I can survive another full year of high school? Less so.” As for Halle: “Well, my hair is a lot longer.”

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