Looking to 2026

This weekend we will greet members of MSMS’ Class of 2026 during New Student Orientation. Help them out! What constructive advice would you give them regarding classes to take? Extra-curricular opportunities they shouldn’t miss? Choosing a roommate?

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20 Responses to Looking to 2026

  1. Aliyiah Richey says:

    Some things I would consider saying to the juniors is telling them to take speech and debate, its just amazing and helps out in every single area of life. Though I may be bias. I would also tell them to not overload at the beginning thought even if they do itll just filter out. I dont think that they need to take a certain path, there are certain things that need to be done to make sure a junior does as good as possible. Mostly for the reason of making sure when they actually get here that things don’t fall apart and they get burnt out.

    Overall, no matter how much advice you were to give them nothing really can be there to stop them from doing the stupid things that juniors always do, you just have to let them learn for themselves.

  2. Kayla Williams says:

    My number one tip for juniors is to get involved with clubs or sports at the beginning of the school year because it is a great way to make friends, collect wellness hours, and genuinely relieve stress. Also, since it’s at the beginning of the school year, it is easier to drop the activities that turn out differently than expected.

    I would also tell juniors to take their classes seriously, but they should remember that, even though we live at school, our life can have more than just studying and academics in it. It’s very important to find the right balance of working, socializing, and resting. Finding the right balance will come through trial and error. There will inevitably be a test, quiz, project, or something that you do not make a desirable grade on, but that’s how you learn the most effective ways to study and prepare, which will help you in the rest of your education.

  3. Alexis Allen says:

    The first thing I would tell the incoming juniors is to choose their classes wisely. They should think of what they need for both junior and senior years. If they want to take as many physics classes as they can, they need to know which ones to take junior year, so they can take the rest senior year. If they want easy English classes senior year, they should consider which classes are only credited for junior year. I would also encourage them to pay attention in class. Once you get behind it becomes hard to catch up, because of how fast classes move. We take around seven classes a semester, so there will be a lot of material to cover.

    The juniors should not worry about making friends, as they will have many chances through classes and the variety of clubs. I wish all of the incoming juniors to be comfortable here at MSMS, so I will do my best to make them feel at home.

  4. Carter Scaggs says:

    My advice to juniors would be to take responsibility for your assignments and always try to do them ahead of time. I would also advise them to communicate with their classmates more, especially early in the year in order to develop friendships sooner. I would also warn them about waiting to do your wellness later in the semester and to instead to work on it marginally over time.

    When it comes to roommates, I would suggest getting to know your roommate over the summer by reaching out to them once you get their contact, this way you two can get to know each other better, but also to coordinate who can get what decorations and essentials.

  5. Gracyn Young says:

    I would recommend taking classes that interest you, even if it means adding an extra class to your schedule. My favorite classes I’ve taken at MSMS have been the extra random classes like Intro to Engineering and 3D Modeling.

    As for roommates, don’t stress over who your roommate will be too much because they give multiple opportunities throughout the year to change roommates. From what I’ve heard and personal experience, not everyone is automatically best friends with their roommate, so don’t stress over that either.

    Lastly, if there is one thing that I’ve learned from MSMS is that everything ends up working out. No matter how stressed you are over a project, assignment, or due date, that stress is temporary and once it is all said and done, you’ll be glad you pushed through it. It’s easy to worry about your grades but thankfully, most teachers are understanding and can help you when they can. Don’t be so hard on yourself, a bad grade here does not mean you’re less than, you most likely excelled at your previous school and you’re still just as smart as you were, things are just different, and that’s OK.

  6. Andy Chen says:

    It is common for incoming students to underestimate MSMS’s academic rigor. Do not assume a high standardized test score exempts you from this party. The same goes for a high-class rank. The juniors who adapt the quickest to the MSMS environment understand that they will likely not be at the top of their class. They will need to put more time and effort into their academics and they are willing and ready to do so.

    On a more practical note, I would encourage students to be aware of particularly “heavy” classes (Tales, all AP sciences) and any specific subjects that their home school may have not properly prepared them for (Foundations). Avoid taking more than 8 credits. Make sure you have a lunch period. Don’t take more than 2 of the aforementioned “heavy” classes. The first semester is the hardest; if you can come back in January, you’ll be fine.

  7. Ava Wilson says:

    I feel like one of my biggest mistakes when coming to MSMS was the amount of extracurriculars that I signed up for. So many people say not to sign up for a ton of clubs because you are going to be weighed down with classwork and it is going to be too much. While that is partially true, the majority of the clubs that I signed up for at the beginning of junior year became inactive, and once I kind of realized this it became really hard to sign up for other clubs that were actually doing something because it was hard to figure out who was in charge or hard to get ahold of them and I just ended up not having as many extracurriculars that I wanted to. So when the time comes around, sign up for any club that you have an inkling of interest in because if you decide you don’t want to do it, you can just quit, because that’s what everyone does anyways.

  8. Emily Barnes says:

    Staying on top of your work is probably the greatest advice I could give. I have been pretty good about it throughout the year, but at the end of each 9 weeks I start to get tired and begin letting things build up and suddenly it is Sunday night and I have 8 or 9 things to submit. Getting into a regular sleep schedule is also extremely important. Taking advantage of sleep whenever you can is good, but then you end up like me where I do all of my work at 11 or 12 at night because I slept through the earlier half of the evening. I don’t think that MSMS is particularly bad, but I do think that it is meant to test you in more than just academics. It is very important to come into the school year with a working attitude and a want to do great things.

  9. Audrey Guynes says:

    Actually, I made a huge list on this topic in the summer of last year, but I decided to never release it. However, I have more than a few words I am willing to share here. Beyond classes and extracurriculars, put yourself first. MSMS is a rough environment to be in most days. I will give a few examples of what it means to put yourself first.

    . In class, you are not doing well. You cannot understand the material, you can’t seem to finish the work, or maybe it is something that you are interested in but, for some reason, your energy is not there. You are more than your grades. You are more than a student; you are a person first. You are not alone; everyone has had their downs and felt a similar way.

    . You are in a club (maybe a few too many), and you do a lot of work outside of class for this club. As you are reliable, you take on a lot of the work that could be delegated between members. There are times when you will need to let people down, if your extracurricular becomes too much work you may need to let down some people by saying no. No, I cannot do this I have a test. No, I cannot do this I’ve done my part. No, I am simply exhausted. Hopefully, that club can understand, but I do believe this is a non-negotiable if it starts to seriously affect something like grades or mental health.

    . In this same regard, I hope that juniors can be understanding to one another about the difficulty of MSMS work. I hope that the elitist chats on why a student would leave MSMS will disappear. If someone decides to leave, do not place shame on them. Most of the comments such as “they couldn’t do…”, “they flunked out”, “finally” or, “if they had done this…” are unnecessary and usually followed up with hateful comments. This might sound crazy, but the best option for a future junior at MSMS may be to leave MSMS. There are so many reasons to stay, but there are also so many reasons that one might be better off going a different path. Do not listen to the chatter of other students and decide what is best for you in your situation.

    These are just a couple of examples. This advice is not what I would give to a junior who took their first steps in Hooper, but it would be more useful for those just settling in their first semester. I wish them the best of luck in whatever they decide to do at MSMS and beyond.

  10. Jack Kirkland says:

    I’m pretty bad when it comes to procrastination, so I know how it feels to be swamped with work. One thing that I wish I heard earlier, especially at the beginning of the year, is to take everything one piece at a time. Don’t let that chemistry homework sneak up on you! For me, it works best to set aside very specific, small yet productive goals for each day.

    For classes, it’s important to find a balance between a interesting and a not-so-heavy load. There can be a lot of pressure to take time consuming AP and University classes, and people fail to realize what an impact it’ll have on their social lives.

    On another note, it’s essential to start making friends even before you get to the school. Interview Day and Orientation played a big role for me in that. It’s also important to realize the role social media plays in this too. While distracting, it can help you make great connections before the school year even starts. This is also super important for finding roommates.

  11. Avary Bodmer says:

    That even when administration might make it seem like your one mistake now rules each of your decisions, you are still a child. A child who needs a break and who sometimes gets humbled too much, more than you think you are doing something most kids will not and can not do. Also even if you think you won’t have time for certain activities always try, you never know what new thing you would love. Learning can only happen if you try new things. Things change and learning to compromise is one of the, if not the, biggest thing to learn is how to compromise.

  12. Tyniandra Redmond says:

    For classes, I’d advise exploring a range of subjects to discover what sparks your interest. But not too many, balancing the workload can be stressful. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

    If you’re interested in extracurriculars, find something you’re passionate about. I recommend Track-and-field! It’s a great way to meet like-minded peers and develop valuable skills outside the classroom.

    When choosing a roommate, communication is key! It’s important to be open about your habits, preferences, and expectations.

  13. Zuxia Li says:

    My advise regarding classes would be to choose what you are interested in and what you think you can handle and not just because the class looks good. SLEEP is REALLY important. Same goes to extracurriculars, join the clubs that you are actually interested in and is willing to make an effort to be there. I would not recommend joining every club you see, just a few that you are passionate about is just fine. For roommates, the biggest tip I can give is that if you can’t see yourself being friends with them in the future get a new roommate asap. It will make your life so much better.

  14. Joy Barner says:

    My tip to incoming juniors is to not take on an overly stressful class load. MSMS is an institute where stress is known, and the addition of unnecessary classes will negatively impact your stress levels. I currently take two AP classes, and although my grades are fine in them, if I could choose again I would not take them at the same time. The stress of studying for two AP exams is not anything I would wish on a person who is not used to high stress levels. Some individuals can thrive in stress and I would encourage them to take the classes of their dreams. One extracurricular opportunity I would encourage is the Interact Club. Members volunteer with the local community and see firsthand how their actions affect their environment.
    When choosing a roommate, I would try to find a person similar to yourself. If you cannot, I would try to understand the person that you end up rooming with. The two of you may completely clash concerning ideals before coming to MSMS. This clashing could lead to a change in roommates, but before you get to that point you must try and work out any possible problems. If the differences are too grave, you can move rooms, but you and your roommate must both agree to the move.

  15. Michelle Yang says:

    Understandably, MSMS is no casual walk in the park. I have certainly met some highs and lows in this academically rigorous environment, but if you ask me whether I regret coming here, my answer is no.
    Sure, there are nights I stay up past 12a.m. finishing an assignment or survive on ramen for three days straight. However, these circumstances have significantly shaped my experience. I personally enjoy the satisfactory feeling of an ‘A’ on a test after my midnight grind; in fact, I think its addicting. To begin embracing these challenges, you need to have a growth mindset. Instead of viewing your textbooks and teachers as obstacles, view them as opportunities for learning. It’s much more motivating and fulfilling to approach each assignment this way.
    Next, please be productive. By that, I mean working on assignments rather than scrolling through TikTok or Instagram for hours. Remember, each minute you spend being unproductive will be a minute less for sleep. If you value sleep as much as I do, please please please do your assignments early.
    While this may be a personal preference, I would also encourage everyone to have a mechanism for destressing your brain. For instance, I know several people who enjoy working out in the gym or going for a run. I like watching true-crime documentaries and immersing myself in something other than school. Find something you enjoy doing that you can easily break away from (in other words, not your phone). It will ease your pressure and stress significantly.
    Lastly, please communicate and read your emails. Teachers and students don’t see each other every day, and email is our only method of communication. Don’t hesitate to ask teachers for extensions, helps, or general advice on how to succeed in their class. Teachers are there to help, and they are familiar with the academic rigor at MSMS. Please don’t be afraid to speak.

  16. Jennifer Bui says:

    If I could recommend any class to an upcoming junior, it would be Tales of Crypt. Even though you may not know what to expect from Tales, it is an unforgettable experience. From the research paper to the script writing, you will build a great circle of friends and become part of a community. Tales is an impactful experience that I would not trade for the world.

    For extracurricular activities, I would highly recommend the Student Government Association. This club offers you the opportunity to listen to people’s problems and help find solutions for them. You become the voice of the student body and ensure that their concerns are heard. Although I was initially skeptical, after attending a few meetings, I found it to be both interesting and enjoyable.

    For roommates, I believe that the most important factor is that your habits and routines shouldth each other. A not conflict wit MSMS, the people are very friendly and welcoming, and you will find that you end up becoming friends with everyone. From my personal experience, I tend to spend very little time in my room, as I am usually hanging out with friends or studying in the library. In case you and your roommate are not compatible, it is always possible to switch rooms.

  17. Julian W. says:

    Before you sign up for classes, it’s important to know MSMS does not cover cost of AP tests. Just take a dual credit class if you can’t take out $100 per test.

    Also, sign up for the Vision, but if you’re a flake, only sign up for the club, not the class.
    Gardening club and SEAL is good if you like environmentalism with friends.

    In the dorms, buy headphones if you’re a light sleeper. The train, your neighbors, and that weird squirrel climbing on the window will wake you up.

  18. Manpreet Singh says:

    Attending MSMS is an incredibly challenging experience, one that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, despite the long nights spent studying and the occasional lack of sleep, I can honestly say that I don’t regret my decision to come here. In fact, I find the feeling of earning an ‘A’ on a difficult test after putting in hours of hard work to be incredibly rewarding. To succeed in this environment, it’s important to approach each assignment with a growth mindset, seeing it as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than an obstacle to overcome.

    One of the most important things to keep in mind is to be productive with your time. It can be tempting to spend hours scrolling through social media, but every minute spent being unproductive is a minute less for sleep or for working on your assignments. I highly recommend doing your work early to avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you have plenty of time to rest and recharge.

    Another key to success at MSMS is finding a way to destress and take care of yourself. Whether it’s going for a run, practicing yoga, or watching your favorite TV show, it’s important to find something that you enjoy and can easily break away from. This will help you feel more relaxed and focused, and ultimately make it easier to handle the challenges that come your way.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to communicate with your teachers and ask for help when needed. They are there to support you and want to see you succeed. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need an extension on an assignment or just some general advice on how to do your best in their class. Reading your emails regularly is also crucial, as it’s often the only way to stay up-to-date with important information. You can thrive in this challenging but rewarding environment by staying organized, focused, and proactive.

  19. priscilla garcia says:

    I personally already had a roommate lined up for about a year before we actually got into MSMS. We actually met at a MSMS summer enrichment camp back in June of 2022!! This, however, is not the case for everybody. I personally suggest getting to know your future classmates through social media platforms, during the summer, before you actually get on campus! Maybe you’ll find a potential roomie!! Coming in having already made friends was a pretty good advantage, I knew at least somebody in every one of my classes. Be prepared to give up a lot of your free time before coming here, a LOT of it will be taken up by studying and prepping for events. I recommend taking all university classes if possible! They’re typically easier than AP and you get credits out of them! I would also suggest participating in extracurriculars!! I’m in no way saying fill all of your time up with clubs and programs, because that free time is sacred here, but definitely try new things!!! Take advantage of the opportunities MSMS brings you!! At most other schools they are hard to come by.

  20. Teagan Lotwala says:

    The main thing that I told the juniors was to pick classes that they would enjoy instead of taking the classes that they thought colleges would like to see. The reason for this is because while overachieving is great it comes at the cost of many things such as mental and physical health. They can still get into good colleges without overworking themselves to the point of bad health. This also goes for clubs and extracurriculars, if you join too many clubs and arent active in them it is unlikely to secure a leadership positon the next year which would hurt chances for college.

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