A Fresh Start at SDS: A Student’s Perspective

by Katie Hay

As I think about how much I have changed from the terrified girl I was when walking into the Day School on my first day of high school, I realize how much this school has affected and changed me. When I began high school, all I was looking for was a fresh start and the chance to discover myself, and that is exactly what the Day School has given me. For the three years that I have attended this school, I have felt welcomed and surrounded by teachers and faculty members that believe in me and want me to succeed and that has changed who I am as a person tremendously. Spartanburg Day school has given me the motivation that I was constantly trying to activate inside myself for the many years prior to my enrollment and that has made all the difference.

I came from a school that I frankly did not fit into in any way. I always felt strange and inadequate as I spent my time in the midst of teachers and students who believed my work, hobbies, and lifestyle weren’t fitting compared to their structure of what seemed right for a teenage girl. For my time spent there I always was trying to change myself in different ways that would help me fit in including new sports and activities that I had no interest in. In time, I just became confused about who I really was. When I came to the Day School, I was amazed to be introduced to teachers and students who looked at who I was and saw potential and ability. The Day School was like a new environment that allowed me to get back on track and discover who I really was. I will never forget my experience of running cross country with Coach Wilson and Coach Snyder. Coming to the SDS Cross country team with very little experience was exciting and after my first practice the amount of guidance and help that I received from my two coaches made me feel as if I had the potential to do well in something whether it be running or any other sport or subject. Being surrounded by faculty that truly care about your success is such a privilege and one that has made all the difference for me.

One thing that is unique about the Day School is the overwhelming kindness of both students and teachers. I remember when I first came to the school.  I expected the same environment of every other school I had been to where I would have to deal with inconsiderate students and teachers and be patient with making relationships and friends. However, on my first day everyone was so welcoming and considerate that I felt like I had been attending the school for years on my first day. This aspect of the school has really changed the way I feel about my peers and has enabled me to discover and improve myself in a kind environment.

The Day School’s challenging environment has also shaped the person I am today. The liberty to try any course that you are interested in on any level has allowed me to challenge myself while focusing on my interests and subsequently allowing me to perform to the best of my ability. I remember when I first came to the Day School I was so surprised that there were so many classes and clubs that you could take part in and that has really opened my eyes to what I am actually capable of. All of these opportunities and possibilities placed in front of me made me so much more excited and motivated about every aspect of my life and have in turn allowed me to perform much better.  In my three years being here, I have been able to take challenging classes and maintain an A average overall. I have been able to participate in service clubs that help me take part in the community, and play sports that challenge who I am as a person as well. Without going to the Day school, I know for certain that I would not have obtained the self-motivation, confidence, and understanding of the world  that has shaped the person I am today.  

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