Entering high school from middle school is typically a stressful experience, as it often requires leaving old friends and adapting to a completely new academic environment. The experience can be described as being like a small fish going into a larger pond. At Bronx Science, making this transition may seem challenging at first, as incoming students may be daunted by our school’s size and impressive reputation. Elif (Camila) Kulahlioglu ’23 said, “I was nervous about the big campus and how I’d navigate it.” However, ninth graders have many support systems and opportunities at Bronx Science that help make their first year easier and more enjoyable.
The first of these opportunities is the variety of student-run clubs available to all grades. Bronx Science offers over eighty different clubs and activities, many of them requiring little to no prior experience. These are excellent opportunities to make new friends with students and faculty alike, to learn more about the school and community, and to spend time doing something you enjoy. These clubs were showcased at the Club Fair in September, which had many ninth graders in attendance. You can join a club anytime, and if you decide that there are absolutely no clubs that pursue your exact interests, you have the ability to create your own!
The Big Sibs program helps the new students to start off on the right track at Bronx Science. The Big Sibs, usually three to four seniors to one 9th grade homeroom, meet their Little Sibs at orientation in June. During the school year, the Big Sibs see their Little Sibs at weekly homeroom and monthly 9th-grade guidance. Big Sib Alexandra Deli-Ivanov ’20 said, “We get to spread our knowledge and experience to another generation of students about to embark on the same journey we went through. Hopefully, this means they can make more informed decisions about their lives here.” The Big Sib program provides the 9th graders with reliable sources of information about Bronx Science, as well as other people they can reach out to.
“We get to spread our knowledge and experience to another generation of students about to embark on the same journey we went through. Hopefully, this means they can make more informed decisions about their lives here,” said Big Sib Alexandra Deli-Ivanov ’20.
Some advice for the class of ’23: You have most likely heard this thousands of times already, but pay attention to your sleeping habits. Even if you have a lot of work, studies have shown that it takes sixty-six days to break a habit. It will take you almost three months to recover from one week of staying up until 2:00 AM. Take it from me, do not pull that all-nighter. Instead, practice healthy time management skills. Write schedules and stick to them. You can usually finish your daily homework in less than two hours. Ask your teachers for extensions if necessary and start your work when it is assigned. This will significantly help you to adjust to the workload at our school.
The next piece of advice is to keep an open mind. You are a 9th grader. It means that you have so much ahead of you! Bronx Science may seem new and unfamiliar at the moment, but it will not be that way forever. You will make good friends, take fun classes, and find extracurriculars that you love. If you are ever unsure of anything, your Big Sibs will be more than happy to help you. Bronx Science is a great school, so make the most of your four years here!