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The Milton Measure

[Editorial] Advice For Our Underclassmen

by on Friday, April 14th, 2017

This week, our Editorial Board has opted not to write a conventional editorial. Instead, upon reflecting on what we’ve learned in our last four years at Milton, we have decided to use this space to provide underclassmen and juniors with some advice that will undoubtedly benefit them as they work through the rest of their time at Milton. While some of our ideas may feel redundant or cliché, over the past four years at Milton we’ve truly discovered their legitimacy.

1. Take the courses that interest you. Popular lore suggests that a few selective courses at Milton dictate where you go to college. For example, students might feel the need to take the notorious Honors Biology course to be accepted by a prestigious university. While taking that class is certainly acceptable if you are a passionate and capable science student, those who aren’t as intrigued by science shouldn’t feel pressured to suffer through countless hours of lab time. Take classes that make you excited to go to school each day. Take classes that foster a sincere love of learning. And as an added plus, Milton students, those superior experiences often result in better grades, so fear not. We as an Editorial Board do understand your anxieties from experience. We do acknowledge that there are required classes that might not inspire you; however, your schedule isn’t limited to those standardized classes. Plenty of room exists in students’ schedules for fun classes especially as an upperclassmen.

2. Stop buying into the stigma that asking for help or asking for an extension somehow reflects negatively on you as student. This notion haunts many underclassmen and to us now seems blasphemous considering how welcoming Milton teachers are to such requests. Milton teachers understand that our lives aren’t completely centered on their single class – or at least most of them do. Teachers have empathy! Please, if you are pressed for time, ask for an extension on an essay or for help on a problem set. Your grades and your confidence will benefit considerably.

3. Do not, and I mean do not shy away from opportunities to try new activities. Whether it’s performing a song at Beatnik or trying out for a sport, do not be afraid to try things and fail. While this next statement is cliché – and we seriously hope it does ring that bell – every opportunity you don’t jump on counts as ais a failure. All of us on the Editorial Board have gotten to know and appreciate how Milton taught us how to fail. Before you laugh at that sentiment, trust us. Truly, if you apply for some new activity, the only bad thing that could come out of the experience is that you do not receive the position and end up growing as a person because of it.

4. Read, Read, Read. It’s no secret that Milton is a lot of work; however, presumably you were aware of that little tidbit heading in, and maybe, just maybe, actually sought out such an academic environment. Sometimes the constant readings, assignments, and the overall time commitment associated with being a student here can take its toll on the amount of free time you have for personal pursuits. One pursuit this Editorial Board believes you should not allow to atrophy is reading books – and we don’t mean doing your English homework for once. We mean sitting down and becoming absorbed in a novel or piece of nonfiction, an anthology of poetry or a play. Whether that means diving into Murakami, brushing up on modern American politics with Milton Alum John Avlon’s Wingnuts books, or exploring other works by an author you enjoyed in class, don’t limit your reading to the curricula you find yourself in. Learning does not respect the boundaries of a classroom and nor should you expect learning to. Read.

5. Finally, actually try to experience Milton’s diversity. Having people from a variety of ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds might make Milton diverse on paper, but if these groups don’t mix, the purpose of diversity is not realized. Rather than becoming complicit in a segmented student body, “break out” as last year’s Head Monitors would advise. And this sentiment includes bridging the age gap: bond with at least one teacher during your time here. Forming these kinds of interpersonal relationships increases cultural literacy and ultimately creates a more conscientious and caring community, a vision we can all get behind.

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Posted by on Apr 14 2017. Filed under Editorial, More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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