High school students engaged in a variety of activities throughout Los Angeles and beyond during the midterm vacation, which lasted October 13-15. Most sophomores and juniors participated in the school’s PSAT / NMSQT administration on October 13 before leaving for the break.
Gisele Stigi ’22 said she, like many of her senior comrades, traveled to visit colleges during the break. Stigi said that although most colleges did not allow students to enter buildings due to COVID-19 precautions, she was still able to find out more about each school, even going as far as take a singing lesson at Williams College.
“[Having to stay outside] It’s a shame, but we still got to feel the campus vibe from the outside tours, and the tour guides were generally great, ”said Stigi. “I didn’t expect walking around campus and being surrounded by students attending school to give me a real sense of what it would be like to be in this school. So it was helpful.
Stigi said she appreciates the time the school fits into the schedule for college visits to seniors, both through frequent days off at graduate schools and days for applying and writing recommendations, as well as letting seniors miss a few days of school.
“Especially as a senior in the first semester, school days are precious,” Stigi said. “You really can’t miss too many of them. So I’m glad Harvard-Westlake has a lot of senior days off to visit or just days off in general. They allow seniors to [miss some school]; they’re not going to penalize us for missing school to tour, which is good.
Other students, like Kiki Cooper ’23, stayed closer to home during the break, making plans or attending events. Cooper said she enjoyed watching a friend sing in a show at the Orange County School of the Arts and having the opportunity to engage more with other performing artists.
“I like to support the passions and efforts of friends whenever I can, and during the fall break that’s exactly what I got to do,” Cooper said. “A close friend of mine performed at her school and I was able to enjoy her lovely singing and other acts as well. As a fellow musician, I appreciated having the chance to be inspired by other singers of my age, because it motivates me to continually work on my profession.
Julia Im ’23 said she felt overwhelmed with her workload and instead opted to take a mid-semester break to catch up on her homework and finalize her application to the National YoungArts competition.
“This break was a good opportunity for me to finish a job I was late on,” Im said. “After the reunion I found myself postponing a lot of homework so I’m glad we had this time to get back to school without too much stress.”