Five Things I’ve Learned from Springs

Maya Cassady ‘19

 I’ve grown a lot in my time at Springs, and now you’re subjugated to read all about how you, too, can grow here. Seriously though, don’t be a stranger to change; not all of it’s good, but the only way to grow is to be receptive to it. So, here’s five things I’ve learned being a student here.

1. You’re not just a student. Learn how to balance life.

It’s really easy with the demanding academics to get caught up in making all A’s and dedicating your life to a high GPA. Yes, it’s important. No, it’s not everything. As a student, you should be able to take time for yourself and enjoy high school: play sports, be in student government, take day trips to enjoy nature (thanks, Mia). School doesn’t have to be a pick and choose between studying and self care, good grades and F’s. Seriously, begin to compromise.

2. No isn’t bad. Learn to handle rejection.

Being at Springs gives you the ability to do so much. Last year, I took an AP for a subject we don’t have an AP class. Not only was the school willing to order the exam for me, but Mrs. Gray took time out of her day to help me prep for an AP she wasn’t even teaching. And honestly, the worst that comes out of asking for something is just being told no. No isn’t the end of the world, and I’ve been told it quite a few times in my five years here -- I’m still living. Mia and I joked that we handled college rejections too well, but I think that Springs has taught me how to keep on swimming. So, just keep on asking for things you want, apply to programs that are competitive, and realize it’s not the end of the world if someone says no to you. It’s good to hear it every once in a while.  

3. Don’t do things for a resume. You’re just letting yourself down.

The amount of times I’ve heard “it looks good on a resume” as a justification for doing something is absurd. Thankfully, I’ve heard it less at Springs over the years, but this is just a quick reminder to not do activities only for a resume. Be a part of Springs and of other communities because you love them. What makes people care that you volunteered or joined a sport or took AP classes, is that you learned something valuable from the experiences. Furthermore, the experiences should actually be for your well being. It’s nonsensical to take part in an activity for college resumes when colleges look for those activities in resumes to learn about your passions and your character. Also, colleges are adept in spotting poorly concealed deceit from a mile away. All in all, just don’t do it. You’re cheating yourself.  

4. Explore.

There’s so much stuff for you to do here. I’ve taken part in something new every year. In eighth grade, I joined the softball team, and the seniors on the team would say hi to me in town hall and take me out for ice cream. In ninth grade, I joined the contemp program. And while I was less than stellar, I stuck with it. Now, I’ve picked up playing the bass and actually turned my love of the instrument into my college essay. Tenth grade was my first year in GSA, and we’ve been kind of bad at being an active GSA ever since (sorry!). Junior year was the beginning of AP’s, and let me tell you, I really loaded up on those. Last year I took five AP’s, and by the time AP season was over, I was certain I would never again do that to myself (though I am now grateful for all those AP credits as I am about to enter college). Finally, senior year has come, and I’ve done a lot that’s surprised me. All in all, you can explore so much about yourself in your time here, so don’t take that for granted. I know that I haven’t.

5. Reevaluate during semesters. You have so little time and it goes by so fast.

Finally, my five years here have gone by so much faster than I thought they would. I wish that in the start of my high school career, I had taken advantage of the breaks in between semesters and reevaluated what I wanted in the next semester and years to come. I wish that I had had retrospective moments to take in what I had done and used the time to really think about what I wanted to do. Reflecting on the semester, and the many semesters before, gives you the ability to appreciate all you’ve done at Springs. It also gives you the ability to keep your aspirations in check. Make goals and use the downtime between semesters to really reevaluate where you are in reaching those goals. The most important thing to remember is to have fun. This is a time where you can take chances, mess up a little, and grow. I highly suggest you do so, because I know that I have lived a completely different life if I hadn’t chosen Springs five years ago.