21 Tips for the Class of 2021

Class of 2020 Aurelian Speaker Andrew Tokarski ’20 Gives Advice to the Rising V Formers

Class of 2021,

Your Vth Form year is right around the corner, and you might be feeling excited, anxious, and maybe even a little sad as you prepare to start the last leg of your Lawrenceville journey. Since quarantine started, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this past year. Looking back, there are a few things I wish I knew when I was in your position. To help you hit the ground running next fall, I’ve made a list of 21 tips that will set you on track to having your best year at Lawrenceville yet!

1. Play the Face Game on Sentinel: Before the year even starts, try to learn as many people’s names as possible. A simple hello in the hallway can go a long way, especially from a Vth Former. “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” -Dale Carnegie.

2. Set Goals: What do you want to get out of your V Form year? Make a bucket list with all the things you want to do and set them as reminders on your phone. This way, you’ll be more likely to stick to them and have the best possible Vth Form experience!

3. Get your College Apps Done Early: With everyone being trapped in their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn’t think of a better time to work on, yep, college apps. Just do it. You’ll thank yourself later.

4. Get to Know the Postgraduates (PGs): The PGs came to Lawrenceville for an extra year of high school. Chances are they’re some pretty interesting people and definitely worth getting to know!

5. Keep in Touch with the Underclassmen: Just because you don’t live in the Circle or Crescent doesn’t mean you can’t visit. Drop by your old House once in a while … and not just for the feeds. Your presence will definitely be appreciated.

6. Reach Out to those who Graduated: Even though we may not attend Lawrenceville anymore, we’re still a part of the Big Red community. We’re fun to talk to and a great resource. If you have questions about your Vth Form year, there’s no one better to ask than someone who’s already gone through it!

7. Go to Feeds: Senior privileges include 12:00 AM check-in on Saturdays. Instead of staying out every weekend, join your peers in the common room for the feed at 11:00 PM. It’s a great time to reconnect with your classmates and friends. If that’s not enough, free food?

8. Attend Saturday Night Social Events: As a V Former, your presence is priceless. Just by showing your face at a social event, YOU make it the place to be. Make an effort to go to those Saturday night events…who knows, you may even have fun once in a while ;)

9. Bleed Big Red: As V Formers, you are responsible for school spirit. Support your friends and show your appreciation for their hard work by going to their games, races, and matches. Put on something red, fill the stands, and scream until you lose your voice!

10. Capture Moments on Camera: “Take lots of pictures. Not of sights. Don’t take pictures of buildings. Take pictures of moments, because [those are] what matter. Capture them here (points to head) and hold onto them here (points to heart).” - Shawn Spencer.

11. Make the Most of the Little Things: It’s true that a lot of important milestones take place in your Vth Form year. It’s also true that simple conversations with duty masters and team dinners will be just as memorable. After all, it’s the small things that make Lawrenceville home, and these memories deserve a place in your heart, too. Trust me, those will be the moments that you remember down the road.

12. Take Time to Reflect: Whether you do this once a week or even once a term, just take five minutes to reflect on your past experiences and realign your focus for the future. Think of three things that you have enjoyed recently and three that you want to work on. This will ensure that you’re constantly in pursuit of your best self.

13. It’s Okay to Ask for Help: If you’re struggling, you’re probably not alone. Your friends, family, advisors, and Infirm counselors are ready to support you with whatever you need. All you have to do is ask.

14. Breathe: *Inhale…Exhale*

15. Don’t Worry, Be Happy: POV: You’re trying to juggle spending time with friends, athletics, classes, clubs, and your college applications. Being a V Former can feel overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Relax. No matter what happens, it’s all going to work out!

16. Explore a new activity: It’s never too late in your Lawrenceville career to try something new. Who knows? You may find something you really love.

17. Audition for SDC: Don’t know what to try? Audition for SDC! Never danced before? Doesn’t matter. Not only will you have a blast learning how to dance, but you will also meet people on campus whom you’ve never talked to before. Plus, you’ll have some sweet moves for college.

18. Speak at Smeeting: You’ve sat through a lot of school meetings. It’s time to stand for a change. Whether it be something as simple as an announcement or as grand as a performance, share your talents and interests with the School!

19. Do a Senior Project: Senior spring is a time where most students focus on their true passions. There’s no better way to do so than with a senior project. The sky is truly the limit, especially at Lawrenceville!

20. Smile: :) …Enough said.

21. Make your Mark: When you come back for reunions, you’ll want to point to something and say, “I did that.” Whether it be creating a club or writing your initials in a discreet place in the library, leave your legacy. You’ll be glad you did.

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