Advice for Commonwealth Students, from Commonwealth Students

For years, we’ve asked Commonwealth students to share their advice for the next generation of Mermaids. Some offer savvy tips for tackling tough classes; others, insider intel for making new friends. So take two minutes to read their top tips, because you’re bound to find a nugget of wisdom you can really use. (Especially as a ninth grader!)

“Never hesitate to ask a question, be confident in your own thoughts and opinions, trust your feelings, and if people didn’t hear you the first time, speak up.” —Sol '21

“Don't be stressed, because everyone here wants you to succeed. They're all supporting you and have your back.” —Ranjan '26

"Be prepared to fail at least once. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t really matter.) From that failure, you will be able to see just how many resources are available to help pick you back up (not something people really look for when they think they’re acing a class), and you will know to use those resources again in the future when you’re struggling.” —Markus '21

“For students who feel like they're locked in a shell—I encourage you to step out and try something new. There's something about just trying things out or the activity itself that will change you, and you’ll wish you did it sooner.” —Sumaya '26

"At first I had some trouble accepting the idea that people here want to talk to you and are excited to get to know you. Now I'm in the same position as people who I used to be a little intimidated by, and I'm like, ‘I'm not intimidating!’ When someone seems interesting to you in your classes, just talk to them. Find a place where you can be comfortable enough to take risks, and just trust that there'll be someone, like your advisor, who will support you.” —Avery '23

“Commonwealth is a great school for people who are passionate about their education and who really want to learn. That being said, Commonwealth is also a great place to become passionate about your education. Don’t be discouraged by the academic challenges that Commonwealth classes bring—they’re a great way to explore and develop what you’re interested in and want to focus on.” —Lillian ’25

“High school is your chance to try things that you may not otherwise have the opportunity to do. Join clubs that sound interesting, try a sport that you know nothing about, and take electives!” —Wyatt ’24

“Even if you have a comment that is not necessarily the exact, narrow answer to a question, it’s worthwhile to speak up in class and offer a new perspective. Don’t be afraid to add to the conversation!” —Athena ’24

“Recognize that over time, you will get better as a student, and your writing will improve. You just have to be patient. Something that has helped me in the last year is knowing that by doing the work that's in the present, and doing what you have to do every day, you can achieve a lot in the long term.” —Charlee ’23

“Freshman year offers you so many opportunities to adjust and get comfortable as a student at Commonwealth. Take the year to develop a strategy for managing your homework load, your studying plan, how you use your study hall periods. Those are really important skills you use throughout your time at school. And go to your study halls! They're a great place to get ahead on homework, and there will be a proctor in the room to answer questions as they come up, which is actually way more useful than you think. Also, meet with your teachers; it was definitely difficult for me to reach out for help initially, but all of our teachers are really accommodating, and I found that meeting with them when I was confused about some part of the class really helped.” —Ayla '23

“Try everything. The success I've had at Commonwealth so far has come from trying different things: singing, acting, boxing, coaching. I've tried getting into all the stuff I can, and it's gone well for me—and even when it doesn't, I know I gave it a try. The important thing is putting yourself out there. When you do that, you'll really know what you're good at.” —Arjun ’24

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