We need a more unified upper school this year

Arsh Aggarwal ’24

Over the past couple of years, our strength as a community has been challenged by circumstances that no one could predict. As we enter into a new school year, I can’t help but hope for a sense of normalcy during my second year of high school.

     The word “community” has been used many times and I think it has sort of lost its meaning over the years. However, as the old adage goes, “You never know how much you had until you lost it.”

     Little things like talking with your friends at lunch, or walking to the café after school weren’t possible last year. School became a routine, like we were going through the motions, and more than anything, I hope that changes this year.

     So many relationships were unable to form. New students had no real opportunity to meet those outside of their few classes. Social interaction during lunch was limited to the ten people in each advisory. The entirety of the upper school was never even in the same building during any point of the year. It was something out of our control, but being together as an upper school is of the utmost importance to regain what we lost.

     Coming into the new year, I would love to see the school community return to where it was a couple of years ago. I want to walk by the community room and see people playing ping-pong. I want to see an insane crowd at sporting events.

Members of the Honor Council meet with faculty members in the Big Room, September 1, 2021 – Mr. Keith Czarny

     I don’t come to school just to learn, and I don’t think any of us do. We come to school because of the experiences we have with each other; not only as a class but as an entire upper school. Last year, more than ever, there was an apparent separation between kids in each form. A lot of it was just being spread across two different buildings, but also just separation in general. More could have been done, whether it being more inter-form competitions or another method. This year, I hope that we are able to close this gap and become a more cohesive upper school.

At the end of the day, I think all we can ask for is an improvement over last year.

     At the end of the day, I think all we can ask for is an improvement over last year. Nobody can predict what changes we will be able to make over the course of this year, but I am confident in our ability as a school to weather the storm.

Author: Arsh Aggarwal '24

Arsh Aggarwal is currently the Sr. Managing Editor of The Index. His previous roles were Editor of Features and Campus Opinions. In 2023, Arsh was awarded the First Place prize in the Pennsylvania Press Club Annual High School Journalism Contest for his piece titled "SAT going digital in 2024",