By: Hannah Dineen
Classes for only 2 terms, no more early dismissal, and no recess. Being a freshman is a new and exciting experience. With an influx of opportunities and people, it’s hard to stop and reflect on the subtle differences between middle school and high school. Many of us forget the feeling of being a freshman at Beaver, whether it’s your 4th year or your 1st. For better or worse, none of us forget flex time at the beginning of G-block. Flex time offers first-year high school students time to learn how to use G-block productively, and its divided into three different sections: independent time, wellness, and plan time. Each time provides the freshman with a different experience. Freshman participates in a certain amount of each activity per week. For example, half the advisories might have plan time, and the other half could have independent time. The plan serves as a study hall, independent time allows freshman to hang out with friends or finish homework, and wellness serves as the health education class. With the end of term one rapidly approaching, I asked three current freshmen to reflect on how flex time impacted their school lives.
Lindsey Wolk ’22 praised plan time. A mandatory opportunity for freshman to complete homework in a low volume environment is extremely beneficial in helping students get their work done during the day. Lindsey says the silent room allows her to focus better and that “[plan] helps me get my work done, but in independent, I tend not to do my homework because I am distracted.” Lucy Carlson Pietraszek 22 echoes the positive remarks, saying that she likes plan because it “helps her get work done.” When asked about how many days plan time was scheduled for, Lucy agreed that “one day a week is good” as it allowed her to finish homework, but that sometimes she was not able to see friends because they were in separate advisories.
Both Linsey, Lucy, and Charlotte Nielsen 22 agreed that they didn’t like wellness class. Although, Lindsey said she “understood why they have it.” Similarly, Charlotte added that she “didn’t really like wellness because it was hard to get my homework done and spend time with my friends if I had it.” Lucy praised some of the discussion topics like the discussions around mental health and plagiarism, but she feels that wellness “is much longer then it needs to be.” offered constructive criticism, saying “I personally don’t think we learn anything new, but offered constructive criticism in terms of not drawing out discussion topics just for the sake of time.
All three girls came to a unanimous decision that independent time was their favorite. Charlotte says she enjoys the independent time because she can “relax, get homework done, but also get a chance to hang out with friends and meet with teachers.” Lindsey agreed, stating “independent is definitely the most fun.”
When asked about what improvements they’d make to the current flex time, the girls offered incredibly thoughtful responses. “I think having wellness once every two weeks would be better,” said Lucy reflecting on the discussions seeming too long, causing some classmates to lose focus. Likewise, Lindsey added that “ I don’t think they would get rid of wellness, I think having three independent times in order to get us used to really being a high schooler, and only one plan would be good. Although, everyone should have the same thing at once because it’s really hard to see friends in different classes all week if we have different flex times.” Not only did this interview remind me of what it was like to be a freshman, but it also brought up many first-hand experience-based solutions to possible flaws in the current freshman based flex time.