Much has happened in the previous two (and a half) months at Watchung Hills. Club initiatives have launched, and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Computer Science Club, the All/Grade School Council(s), and Math Team, among others, have attracted returning and new members to competitions, fundraisers, and events in store in the next few months. The fall season has just about concluded (for most teams), with strong finishes from Men’s and Women’s soccer, both rising to top ranks in the Skyland Conference. Seniors are knee-deep in essays to write, homework to do, tests to take, and responsibilities outside of the classroom to fulfill. And underclassmen are progressively transitioning to rigorous academics, which doesn’t mean they weren’t immersed in rigorous academics prior, but relative to the workload in the summer time, rigorous captions the picture like a champ. Although it might not have felt like a very long start of the school year, the first quarter has (roughly) ended, and the last half of semester one has started. For seniors especially, that’s good news. College applications, and college decisions, are looming like a mysterious cloud, and naturally, the forecast is not something we can see on Yahoo weather.
But what we can see on Yahoo weather are changing temperatures and an earlier sunset, which means the crispy autumn air is slowly moving into chilly, cold, and hot-chocolate-worthy nights of fireplace reading. Or fireplace Snapchat. That’ll depend on who’s at the fireplace.
The Holiday Season is indeed approaching with jingling bells, and although the December and January months are typically viewed in a more relaxed light, excitement at Watchung Hills isn’t slowing down. It’s a time for Winter Cabaret nights, poetry events, and English coffeehouses, in which avid lovers of Shakespeare, literature, and the arts get together for enjoyable evenings of sharing talents and write-ups. Preparation for the Robotics season is a driving factor for engineering-oriented students to collaborate on ideas for the FIRST Robotics competition events. Winter sports practices have started, as has planning for the TEDx event; in about two weeks, select students will share stories and experiences based on the theme of “Aspire,” following two years’ worth of TEDx events that were The Arrowhead newspaper released its first edition last month, two more are expected in the next three weeks, and December issues are also underway. And if that’s not exciting enough, it’s often said that the week before winter break tends to be action-packed with exams and projects, meaning there’s a nice balance between excited, bubbling movement and Watchung-Hills-style coursework.
In terms of what underclassmen should expect for the next couple of weeks, that strongly depends on how “under” we’re talking about. Freshmen typically take this time to unwind from a rather spontaneous move from middle school, and that’s most certainly in order. Sophomores start to lay out a game plan for how they want to structure junior year, including coursework, test dates, campus engagement, and the college search. Juniors typically don’t do what juniors should do - relax - because everything and the kitchen sink is piled on the agenda. Seniors, with early applications submitted and a regular decision plan mapped out, crack the knuckles and hit the keyboards. And when the Holidays are said and done, it’s the beginning of the second semester, an uphill for many students and a more relaxed time for older ones. But until then, the Watchung Hills community is in preparation for the standard, busy, and enjoyable months of student pursuit, planning, and a few peaceful days off.