Seven Months In: Ninth Graders Reflect on Their Year, So Far


Pamela Li

Tasnia Hakim ’22 had never taken a midyear exam prior to coming to Bronx Science.

It’s September. Ninth graders set foot into the bustling crowd of the school cafeteria as they swipe in with their new ID for the first time. At the sound of the final bell, before they know it, their first day of high school is over. Only a quick four more years to go.

Now, it’s March. They are more than halfway done with their first year of high school, and the new students reflect on their first seven months at Bronx Science.

Many ninth graders found that high school is drastically different from middle school. “The workload is very different because my middle school never really prepared me for the work in high school, especially for the workload at a school like Bronx Science,” said Leila Buchan ’22. “Although making friends has been easy, the only problem I’m having is getting good scores on tests,” Buchan added.

However, some students have found that coming to Bronx Science is the same as going to any other new school. “Going to high school and going to middle school isn’t all that different. I did come from a small middle school, but I’m kind of already used to everything by now,” said Tasnia Hakim ’22.

Despite the challenging workload, plenty of ninth graders have found that going to SGI has been remarkably helpful in their adjustment to more rigorous academics. “What I find most helpful about SGI is that it allows you to get to know your teacher better, and your teacher is also able to offer you individualized help with your work during that time. It’s especially productive when I’m studying for tests,” said Dori Held ’22.

Outside of SGI, students have found a lot of support, both academic and personal, from their new teachers. “My Biology teacher, Mr. McNickle, goes out of his way to check in with you and makes sure that class doesn’t become too over or underwhelming,” Held added.

In order to alleviate the stress of a new school, many ninth graders like to stay after school to enjoy the abundance of clubs offered at Bronx Science. “I like going to Urban Dance Club because it’s a chance to relax and hang out with my friends outside of the classroom,” said Buchan.

For numerous ninth graders, clubs are opportunities to incorporate their talents that they have brought along with them to high school. For others, clubs have helped them discover their hidden potential. “The Speech and Debate team has helped me make new friends and also showed me that I really love debating,” said Held. Clubs also serve as great chances to spend time with friends and make new ones as well.

Reaching the seven month point in the school year also means that midyear exams are finished. At Bronx Science, an entire week is reserved for uniform, school-wide tests on different subjects. Though some midyears are taken in class, a majority of them are taken during midyear week.

“It’s not easy, for sure,” said Dori Held ’22. “But ultimately, Bronx Science has broadened my horizons, shaped me, and continues to shape me into a better person.” 

For most of the new students, taking a midyear exam is something rather new to them. “I had never actually never taken a midyear exam before, and I was kind of nervous because of Geometry. We went over all the things that we had learned this year, which helped to prepare,” commented Hakim.

Although many may have a tough time studying, the school offers many outlets to help all students thoroughly prepare for their exams throughout the year. Teachers often hold review sessions during class and in SGI, and students in the National Honors Society provide tutoring to those who request for it online.

Despite the myriad of challenges that high school can hold for any student, it is essential for all students, whether it is their first or last year at Bronx Science, to know that they are not alone. “It’s not easy, for sure,” said Held. “But ultimately, Bronx Science has broadened my horizons, shaped me, and continues to shape me into a better person.”