With the Year Almost Out, Advice From a Departing Senior

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It has only just now hit me how little time I have left on the Circle. Now that the end is finally here, it is hard not to reflect on my four years here and think about what I could have done differently for a better-lived Groton life. After much thought, I am going to give all of you some advice about how to use your Groton experience to the fullest.


First, take advantage of Groton’s size. At no college or place of work will you ever find a group of 380 people that care and know so much about you, unless you happen to come back as a faculty member. Now, at times, this can be hard; there is limited privacy and it can feel tough to get away. However, it’s important to stop focusing on the few people that you dislike at Groton and instead realize how incredible it is that we have a conglomeration of so many intelligent and unique kids on one campus. A few years is plenty of time to get to know (at least to some degree) everyone around the Circle. You can always get to know somebody and then decide you don’t like them; not only can reaching out to more people broaden your friend group, it betters your communication skills and makes the already-small campus seem even smaller.


Also enjoy Groton’s unique activities. Think about what will make you nostalgic when you return to campus after graduation: St. John’s Chapel, the Circle, Dory’s? You feel nostalgia when you come back to the things that meant the most to you, so find those things at Groton and pursue them while you can. If you love swimming in the Nash, grab a friend (who is a certified lifeguard, of course, along with a responsible adult) and take a run down to the water. If you don’t seize the moment and pursue the things you love now, you will find yourself wishing you had when it comes time to part ways with the Circle..


Next, work hard to develop relationships with faculty. There is no doubt that, whether we notice it or not, teachers, coaches, and advisors play a huge part in shaping who we are. They all care about us. The student-faculty relationships are one of my favorite things about Groton, and, especially as I have come closer to the end of my time on the Circle, I have really come to appreciate how important they are. Teachers at Groton are always available and can provide not only academic help, but camaraderie and emotional support. The connections that students develop with faculty members at Groton are unique, and very few other institutions are able to match that. The fact is, we will not be given guidance and support to this degree once we leave Groton, so take advantage of it before it is gone.


Finally, work hard in the classroom, but take some time to relax. I know that this piece of advice is much easier said than done, but you should work to give yourself at least some breathing room. With decent study habits and attention to scheduling, anyone can create some free time for themselves. This free time is what we will remember about our Groton experience. Though work plays a big part in our lives here, we will not meet up in twenty years at reunions and reflect on memories of long nights writing research papers or failed Latin tests. Instead, we’ll talk about the funny moments with our friends and the memories we made that brought us closer. Be productive and work hard, but go have some fun and make Groton all the more memorable for when you leave, because someday memories are all that will remain of this place. You owe it to yourself to make them good ones.