Junior Reflection: Ada Fulgham


Ada Fulgham

Reflection in a mini-Goen flood.

Ada Fulgham, Vision writer and copy editor

Starting off my junior year of MSMS, I had no idea what to expect. Heralded by rumors of sleepless nights and hard classes, perpetually dropping grades and unstable emotions, I was nervous going into such a dynamic environment. The application process itself was enough to show me that what I was getting into was much more serious than just a sort-of-private-school-but-actually-a-public-school-for-smart-kids. It was a family, a community in which I would be tested, and a place that I would fit into even when I was unsure if I was “smart enough” to be there.

The first time I saw all of my fellow prospective juniors, I was even more overwhelmed. Being relatively shy, I wasn’t sure at first how to react to the situation: I knew I would have to get to know these people, live with them, and bond with them throughout our final years of high school together. But as it’s turned out, the people I’ve grown to call friends aren’t the scary, uncertain part of MSMS. They are the buffer against the stress, the calm when I’m freaking out over not getting the grade I wanted, or when I’m trying to get done with MasteringChem before 12 a.m.

The rumors of mental breakdowns, overwhelming loads of schoolwork, and a lot of crying were not false. But I know that we’re all in this together, however cheesy that may sound. Anyone who doesn’t believe that needs to get with the program. And whenever someone is having one of those days, I know that because of the community—the teachers, students, faculty—someone is always there to listen and offer support.

Despite the stress and not just a few all-nighters, junior year has been amazing. Between the mountains of schoolwork and responsibilities—not to mention not being sure if I should actually worry about college yet (the answer is probably yes)—I’ve been able to bond with some pretty amazing people. Teachers like Yarby and Ms. Barham, who are always supportive and on the same level as the students here, are beyond inspiring. I’ve gotten to know classmates from my old high school better than ever, which is shocking, seeing as how in just a couple of months I’ve gotten to know them better than in the two years I knew them back home. People like Bry and my roommate Jane are amazing, and living with them has changed my outlook on what it means to be a caring friend; you don’t just need to be there, but you should actively care, and be the reason your friends laugh so hard they cry, although that may just have been because it was 2 a.m. in the morning.

I know I haven’t been the most studious, and I’ve gotten some really bad grades in my months at MSMS. I haven’t completely settled in, even though I’ve had more than enough time to get into the rhythm of things. It’s just that in many ways, MSMS is definitely not my home. It’s not home cooked meals, and spending time with my mom, and not always stressing about that next test or assignment. But it is a place where I’ve learned who I am, and who I want to be based on all of these inspirational people who are now in my life–seniors, teachers, even RAs and other juniors. And when I come back after a weekend away from school, I do catch myself thinking “time to go back home.”

I also haven’t kept all the friends I came here with. But I have to trust that I’m making the right decisions and that I just need to keep smiling and pushing forward for me. I have new friends, people I admire (special shoutout to Lori and Hamilton, as well as all of the seniors, for truly inspiring me. I know we all have our flaws and insecurities, but I think you guys are amazing!) I also want to be sure to thank whoever came up with the idea for having secret pals…mine has surely kept me alive, and I really appreciate the effort that I know is hard to give sometimes.

I’ve gained more memories that I’m proud of keeping than I thought I would. I’m honestly not sure how the future will play out, and I’m more than a little nervous to see how this year will end and the next will begin. But so far, I know that MSMS is where I want to be. The homework, the staying up late, the bad test grades, the failing, the wanting to go home (or even to just sleep forever)… is simply the price we all have to pay to be able to stay here. And I think that at least for me so far, it’s totally been worth it.