Sophomores Isabel Bequer (’23), Avery Rogan (’23), and Isabella Pearson (’23) enjoying their last days of school (Photo Credits: Kimberly Egoavil / Photo Credits)
Sophomores Isabel Bequer (’23), Avery Rogan (’23), and Isabella Pearson (’23) enjoying their last days of school

Photo Credits: Kimberly Egoavil / Photo Credits

Moving Up a Grade: Advice from Students

May 21, 2021

With only a few weeks left of the 2020-2021 school year, many are eagerly awaiting summer break. But summer can go by really fast with it being so filled with volunteering, summer classes, vacations, and even summer work. What about the upcoming school year?  Here is some advice from each grade level that could help the incoming students.

Freshman to incoming Freshmen:

Madison Ratchford (’24) “Use your free time to your advantage, especially if you have a study hall. Use your time wisely, and once homework is assigned try to complete it as soon as possible and don’t procrastinate.”

Ashley Cannella (’24) “Focus on academics and don’t worry too much about friendships. Friends will come to you and you have many more years to come.”

Natalie Marks (’24) “It’s an easy transition, as most of the first semester you just review things from last year, but I would also say to take freshman year seriously. It’s important to get the best grades you can and put the most effort in.”


Sophomores to Freshmen:

Sara O’Connor (’23): “Put as much effort as you can at the beginning of the year because your grades and GPA really depend on it. Set yourself up well at the very start so that if you lose motivation by the end you’ll have some leeway and be okay.”

Julia Dean (’23):  “Make sure to do your homework and don’t fill your schedule too much so you’ll be able to have a good academic and social life. It’s very important.”

Isabella Lawrence (’23): “Use the resources provide by your teachers, and use your teachers. Everyone here is there to help you, and if you’re taking AP classes this is the perfect time to develop study habits for the next two years.”


Juniors to Sophomores:

Elizabeth McCree (’22): “Junior year is very difficult, but you have to push through and keep working hard. Try to turn in all assignments because your grades are very important this year since colleges look at those.”

Izzy Machado (’22): “The workload definitely gets pretty difficult because there’s so much to do. You have to not only keep up your grades, but also start studying for SAT and looking at colleges, so I would suggest learning study habits that suit you and use summer to your advantage.”

Leslie Sanchez (’22): “Take advantage of your study hall time, (if you have one) you could easily get so many things done and it’s one less thing to worry about when you get home.”

Seniors to Juniors:

Amelia Cuttle (’21): “The best advice I could give to any rising senior is – simply put– FOCUS ON YOURSELF. It is so, so easy to care about what everyone else is doing (“what schools is this person applying to?” “what ACT score did this person get?” “what GPA does this person have?”), but so incredibly unhealthy — and more importantly, unhelpful. It seems like cliche advice, but if you simply only pay attention to what YOU need to do, what YOU want, and what YOU are trying to do, you will feel so much better. Who cares about the difference between what you’re doing and someone else? It’s your life, and it’s so much easier and nicer to make choices for yourself rather than the admiration or validation of others.”

Adriana James-Rodil (’21): “My advice for the incoming juniors is to have confidence in yourself and your accomplishments as you begin to apply to college. The college admissions process can be very toxic if you allow it to be. If you start to compare yourself to other applicants and become too attached to a school, it can have a negative experience. However, if you make sure to focus on yourself and not those around you, it can be a very reflective process as you look to what you have achieved and who you have become during your time at the Academy. Always remember that everything happens for a reason and to take risks because life is too short not to.”

Emara Saez (’21): “Enjoy every single moment of your time at the Academy. Like 2020 demonstrated, you never know when life will take an unexpected turn, so it’s important to appreciate all the small moments. College and life beyond AHN are coming soon; test scores, applications, and end-of-the-year stress will play a huge role during your senior year, but you can’t let the joyous moments slip past without appreciating them! “Living in the moment” is cliche, but it truly is the biggest piece of advice that matters for all grade levels, especially incoming seniors.”

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