by VAUGHAN SHANLEY '15
Give a high-five to the teachers in the front circle on the first day of school every year.
Even though you might think you’re too cool as an upperclasswoman, it’s a fun tradition that helps you see all of the teachers on your first day back.
Get to know your Big Sis.
She can give you helpful advice and know this school much better than you. And make sure you take care of your Little Sis when you have one, because yes, one day you will be a senior too.
Spend a break period in the Parlors.
Not many schools have ornate living rooms among stark classrooms, and they provide a great reprieve from the everyday panic of studying, eating, and cackling that ensues at the morning break.
Buy something from the vending machines from each building.
Vending machines equal happiness.
Attend a spirit game for as many sports as possible.
The Bulldogs are an athletic bunch, but even if you’re not an athlete yourself, it’s fun to support your classmates and participate in the camaraderie of the school.
Get into the Halloween Costume Contest finals.
Halloween: you’re out of uniform, there’s sugar coursing through your veins, and Mrs. Campbell’s face looks scarier than the set of The Walking Dead. What could be better? The absolute joy of winning the legendary SUA Halloween Costume Contest, that’s what.
Go to the Father Daughter dance.
And even better—compete in the dance competition.
Be the first one in the lunch line.
Bonus points if it’s on pizza Friday.
Join in on the pep rally activities.
You get to be in front of the entire school, doing some ridiculous activity, but hey—it’s worth it for the fond memories later.
Go stag to a dance.
Enjoy the dance by spending dance with your SUA sisters. Your time with them will pass much faster than you think. (Boys are really quite annoying too.)
Spend a whole week without being off task in a class.
This becomes harder as you get older, but you’d really be surprised by how much you can learn when you’re not mindlessly window shopping or scrolling through those only-somewhat-funny websites with cat pictures on them.
Become a leader of a club or organization.
Find one that you’re passionate about, and help it become the best it can be by leading your fellow SUA bulldogs.
Get on the SUA website.
You’ll feel famous.
Participate in the spirit dances at the end of the year.
Every grade does one at the last pep rally of the year. You might look ridiculous, but it’s a great time to spend time with classmates you might not know well.
Sing songs with Mr. Burnside in the tree house.
An essential part of the SUA experience is the religion department, and especially the heart-warming songs sung with Mr. Burnside in his one-of-a-kind tree house located at the top of Central.
Meet someone from the East, West, North, and South sides.
SUA allows you to meet people from all over the city, so take advantage of this opportunity.
Take an elective that you don’t know much about.
Pick something that puts you out of your comfort zone; you never know what you’re passionate about if you’ve never tried it.
Meet all of the administrators.
As in, have a conversation with them, not just whisper a sheepish “hello.” They’re surprisingly nice, and they really do care about you.