Senior School House Prefect Leila '18 Addresses the Academy
Good afternoon students and faculty of Sewickley Academy.
I hope you all had an amazing summer! My name is Leila and I am a member of the Senior Class of 2018. As we ease back into our routines of waking up with the sun, studying for tests, and completing homework, I want to share with you some of my experiences and thoughts as we begin the new year.
I started attending Sewickley Academy my sophomore year. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was nervous. Will I make friends? Will the classes be too difficult? What will the teachers be like? I was feeling a lot of the same emotions that perhaps many of you are feeling right now. But I will tell you from experience, it gets easier. From the moment I walked through these doors, I felt a sense of community. I was also very lucky because I had a friend in my neighborhood who attended SA. She and I met many times over the summer before school started. She answered my questions, and I had many, like what is a block schedule? What will my advisor do? And she encouraged me to join the field hockey team. I had never played a team sport before but the girls on the team were so kind, supportive, and encouraging. If I never took that chance I would have never gained the confidence to play another sport, lacrosse. My point is, take advantage of the opportunities Sewickley Academy has to offer; and there are many.
When the Clubs Fair rolled around I found myself eager to sign up for everything; however, there was no way I could possibly attend every club meeting. So, I chose clubs that aligned with my interests and met so many awesome people. In the end, I had a great sophomore year. I really felt I had found my place at the Academy.
Going into my junior year, rumored the most difficult, I felt grounded, excited, and ready for the challenge. But I wouldn’t have felt all those things if I didn’t challenge myself with my academics, sports, and clubs. I discovered what worked for me and everyone here will discover their own path too. My teachers, advisors, and friends were always there for me when I felt overwhelmed or questioned my choices. They helped me prioritize my homework and other commitments so I didn’t put all my time and effort into one thing. Junior year flew by even faster than my sophomore year because I came back to familiar surroundings.
During my junior year I became part of the new House System in our Senior School. The House System was a completely new program here at the Academy and so was the House Council. So we didn’t have a set plan as to how we were going to integrate the upperclassmen and the underclassmen. Eventually, we became closer as a house and community, but it took time. We had to bond as groups by trying new things; scheduling events and activities and team building. We all grew to know one another and the process was amazing.
As a senior, this year is full of “lasts.” Before many of the now alumni of the school graduated, I found myself asking them so many questions to try and prepare myself for this year. Many said, “Don’t procrastinate.” Others said, “Enjoy every moment,” but the advice I received most that really meant something to me is, “Everything will work out as it should.”
Here at Sewickley Academy, we are all here with a common goal, to receive an incredible education, work hard, build amazing relationships we hope will last a lifetime, learn new things, and take on new challenges. These 13 years of school are only a small part of our lives, but we are creating memories we will hold onto for years to come.
I wish everyone a fantastic year! Work hard, take on new challenges, take advantage of the opportunities Sewickley Academy has to offer, and know that you have the support and encouragement of the faculty and of course your friends to support you along the way.
Enjoy every moment and make memories that you’ll hold onto for years to come. Have a great weekend!