Sixth grade, or “upper prep” as we like to call it at KO is the only grade in which every single student is new to the school. Even if you know other students going into KO, starting something new is always scary. At this point in their time at KO, they have seven whole years until they leave. None of them knows what the school has in store for them, or where they will end up.
I kind of cringe when I look back on my middle school years, especially sixth grade. I didn’t have a clue that in the next seven years I would (thankfully) learn to make friends and discover that I may actually be interested in things other than basketball. Looking back, I can clearly see how I got where I am and how KO, the place at which I’ve spent at least half of my time at for the last 2,190 days of my life, helped me reach this point.
One thing I was sure of, though, when I was in sixth grade was that I wanted to be a senior advisor when I finally reached form 6. Now that I am in fact a senior, my favorite part of the week is on Tuesday and Friday when I get to see my lil’ sixth graders. Spending time with them is an amazing break from the sometimes overwhelming feel of the Upper School. For about an hour a week, the sixth grade advisors have the privilege of immersing themselves in the seemingly less stressful and more simple environment of the Middle School. This is something that I am so thankful for, and my advisees don’t even have to try to brighten up my day. Their natural enthusiasm and energy is so uplifting and contagious.
A large part of the reason that I wanted to be a senior advisor is because I absolutely love Middle School dances and couldn’t wait to experience them one more time, while watching the sixth graders get to experience them for the first time. Knowing how difficult it can be coming into a new school as a sixth grader, I truly appreciate and value the impact the senior advisors can have on their advisees. I still remember my senior advisors, Sam and Lindsey. We always looked forward to the days they joined us for advisee group, and they were people for us to look up to. Time truly does fly by. When I came to KO in 2013, 2019 seemed decades away. Now, here we are 6 years later, and I’m sure 2025 seems very far off to the sixth graders right now, but I hope they cherish their time in middle and high school because it really does slip away.
The other day during advisee group, the sixth graders wanted to trap me under a pile of pillows, and naturally I was hesitant. However I let them bury me when they told me that Sam, the other senior advisor had let them do it, and that he would be the favorite if I didn’t do it too. It was actually pretty fun. I’m thankful for moments like that with the advisee group because they aren’t there to judge you for acting goofy, and it’s a time that we get to escape from the expectations of being a high schooler and have fun doing strange, goofy things. I know that the senior advisors are supposed to be the ones guiding and teaching their sixth graders – something that I no doubt strive to do – however, I honestly feel like they help us just as much with their young and fresh perspectives on KO and their amazing energy.
Shoutout to Costantini’s crew, you guys are the best advisees out there, and I hope that in six years you will apply to be a senior advisor because although it may be the end of my experience at KO, I know it is something about high school that I will remember.