Zebra Tales
Grace '21

Life on Upper School Side

The first two weeks back at school have been both chaotic and very exciting. So far, I’m thoroughly enjoying all my new classes and teachers, although I have particularly fallen in love with my World and the West class, taught by Mrs. Spring. In addition to grappling with new content and the additional work as a Fourth Former, I’ve had to navigate my way as a newcomer to Upper School. Third and Second Formers are quite isolated from their older peers on campus, as Upper Schoolers live in completely different dorms and, for the most part, take separate classes. Although most Third Formers at one point or another venture onto the Upper School side of campus, where most of the dorms are located, living in one has been a completely new experience. My roommate and I now enjoy the luxury of full walls rather than three-quarter walls, and we can manage our own time rather than having a 10:30 lights-out deadline. However, these aspects of life on Upper School have their downsides; for one, locating friends is much harder (since you can’t just call over the wall to see where everyone is), and I lose track of time much more easily. Nevertheless, I like living in Upper School with its gained independence much more than living in Lower School.
A huge part of dorm life here at Groton is check-in, when the entire dorm gathers at the end of the day to talk, laugh, and share our thoughts. It’s a Groton tradition that holds true and fast to its purpose of building lasting friendships throughout the dorm. I’m living in Hamlin’s Dorm this year, which is one of the larger dorms on campus; having so many people makes it hard to have one cohesive conversation at check-in, but I always thoroughly enjoy ending my day by talking and laughing with twenty-eight of my friends (including seven day students). Upper School is renowned for having long check-ins, but after a long, hard day of classes and work, it’s refreshing to come together as a small community and share stories about lunch or practice or study hall. We have the maturity and knowledge to talk about so many more topics in depth than we did in Lower School, which comes as a healthy change. I’m excited for what else Upper School and Hamlin’s Dorm has in store for the year!