Upperclassmen give advice on how to survive being an Effie

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Iman Divanovic

At lunch Effies and E-flats converse about all sorts of things.

Iman Divanovic

SENIORS Finnley DiBenedetto and Lydia Knutson were asked questions about their years at WHHS and what advice they have for the new and incoming Eagles.

 What are/were your favorite classes?

“(D) I just absolutely loved my history classes, I found them very engaging and interesting, and they actually influenced a lot of what I’m doing right now. For example, AP modern world history is a class I’m taking that’s not a requirement, but I’m just taking it because I absolutely love history. As for the history teachers here, [they] are very chill and very, very easygoing.”

“(K) I really enjoyed math and science classes, like calculus and chemistry, because the teachers there are so supportive and are really willing to put in the effort. I also really liked Spanish.”

Did/do you have any favorite teachers?

“(D) Oh, I had several. Mr. McCormick, a ninth-grade modern world history teacher. For math, Miss Carson was my favorite, I think she’s Mrs. Thornbury now, she teaches geometry and she really kind of got me to enjoy math again and feel enthused about it. Mrs. Wolfe, she was just absolutely lovely and very helpful in the writing process. She’s an 11th-grade teacher. In terms of Latin, Brogden was fantastic. I felt like she really reinstalled my confidence in Latin and my confidence in myself.”

“(K) Mr. Lazar for AP Chemistry, he’s an amazing teacher. I haven’t heard anyone really say anything bad about him.”

What academic advice do you have for the new students?

“(D) I would say just don’t pile on too much. My eighth-grade year, I decided I wanted to take all AA classes because the seventh-grade AA classes were easy, and I found myself struggling because academically just all of it was too hard.”

“(K) if you’re a student who needs the Student Success Center, don’t be afraid to use that. Also, talk to your teachers about your goals academically or if you’re struggling because your teachers are there to support you and they want you to succeed.”

What social advice do you have for the new students?

“(D) I would say just join clubs. You don’t have to join all the clubs in the world but maybe join one or two. I recommend GSA which is Gender Sexuality Alliance. So if you’re an LGBTQ plus student or anyone like an ally, it’s a really good space to learn and grow.”

“(K) definitely to join a club or any extracurricular thing, just find something that you enjoy doing outside of academics.”

What’s something you wish you knew as an Effie?

“(D) Just don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to take that fourth-year Latin, it can free up a lot of space and time in your schedule. You can always take language later in college if you so choose to. And there’s also the eligibility to go on the trip to Italy which I went on and it was life-changing. [It] was life-changing because we got to see all these amazing sights that we discussed in the Latin text, and it gave everything a context. It made everything feel so much more real and I got to learn a lot about the culture and the history of the civilization. I’m also Italian so it took me back to my roots and where a lot of my family is from and overall it was just amazing to see everything that I got to see”

“(K)  As an Effie I was really scared of what people thought of me and I just wish I knew that it did not really matter because nobody really cares.”

If you knew all you know now as an Effie do you think your years here would have gone differently? If so, how?

“(D) I think I would have been a lot less stressed and put a lot less pressure on myself. I was just really anxious all the time and struggling because I felt like I had to be perfect at everything. So I feel like I would be a lot less anxious, and a lot less stressed.”

“(K) I don’t know if they would have gone differently, But I think I would have enjoyed them more and been a little less stressed.”

Would you recommend this school to others?

“(D) Absolutely. I feel like this is a school where you can really academically grow as well as it sets you up on a really good path wherever you’re going to go later in life. It’s just really nice to get that basic foundation now whether you’re going to college or whether you’re going to do something else.”

“(K) I would. It’s a really big school, but once you get over that I think it’s nice to see all the places you can succeed academically, and it helps you to be more open to trying new things.”