The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

Should Groton Have a Second Form?

Guaiguai Zhang ’28

Con: Let’s get rid of the Second Form.

By Max Fan ‘25

When some of the now-graduated forms remember my Second Form year, they will perhaps recall the sounds of screaming our form echoed through the Forum during conference, or the sight of me Naruto-running frantically down the halls to get to class. The Second Form experience I remember was equally boisterous: our dorm was often the venue for Nerf gun battles from the top of the three-quarter walls or UFC fights in the common room. If these memories tell you anything, it’s that eighth graders are not ready to be immersed in the cutthroat environment of Groton School.

Beyond the shenanigans, the Second Form experience is not conducive to creating strong social connections. As the form triples from Second Form to Third Form, Second Formers’ social connections often undergo an upheaval. Jacques Dy ’25 reported that he “[underwent] drastic shifts in my friend group” upon entering Third Form that left him feeling frustrated by the changes to his original Second Form group. Similarly, new Third Formers may feel left out of pre-established social connections from the previous Second Form.

There also always remains the question of whether Second Formers are truly ready to thrive in their adolescence so far removed from their families. Some do, but others may begin to feel the emotional and psychological effects of being separated from their parents at ages as young as 12 or 13, from homesickness, to loneliness, to a lack of guidance. In my Second Form, many of my Second Form peers would call their parents daily, struggling to adjust to life without a family at such a young age.

Second Form is a wild ride of growth and chaos, but that’s a rollercoaster of antics and maturity gaps that I would rather not ride again at Groton. Or, if you prefer, buckle up to deal with a year of maturing, mischief, and missing home.


Pro: The Second Form needs to stay.

By Rose Fischer ’28

Sure, Second Form can be a little chaotic. From fooling around during study hall to engaging in bizarre dorm shenanigans, it’s apparent that we Second Formers are not nearly as old as the rest of us. The recent “pumpkin incident” is one of many testaments to our form’s antics. Some weeks ago, a group of Second Form boys spontaneously decided to chuck a rotting halloween pumpkin into the Second Form girls dorm—and in the process of cleaning up, somehow started a fire and warranted a stern lecture from Mrs. Martin-Nelson.

Although this was arguably one of the biggest blunders of Second Formers this year, it resulted in a learning experience for both those involved and the others who heard about it. Experiences like this make Second Form a great place for students to adjust to the rigorous environment of Groton.

Groton students, no matter their age, don’t enter the school with perfect maturity. Take, for instance, the living habits of Second Form dorms. There have been a few mistakes this year in our girls dorm — setting alarms too early, yelling across the half-walls, making messes, and many others. But if students didn’t have these learning experiences in Second Form, they would just have them later on whenever they came to the school. Second Form allows for a more controlled and forgiving environment for students to make these inevitable mistakes.

Second Form imitates the challenging academic and social setting of boarding school, but in a far less stressful manner. Because grades don’t matter as much, students can focus on developing good study habits and time-management skills with some breathing room to try various study strategies.

With the “buffer year” of Second Form to learn, explore, and build habits, the Second Form will be able to develop into mature, experienced Upper Schoolers in the long run.

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