Bookends Part 1: Lazarus sisters on attending high school together

Megan Bonini

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By Meg Lazarus, ’13, Contributor

Having a senior as a sibling in the Upper School definitely gives you a unique perspective. My sister is Allison Lazarus, ’10. I appreciated her advice on what to expect and on time management, because both helped me in my first week of high school. Though supposed intimidation from upperclassmen is virtually nonexistent, younger siblings seem to get a little bit of flak from friends of older siblings. Despite Allison’s advice, I was surprised to learn that instead of teachers coming to speak to you about a bad grade, you have to seek them out. This summer, my sister also talked a lot about the increased freedom of the Upper School, which sounded great at the time, but now most of the freshmen have their fill! Personally, I feel deprived of the structure that used to be characterize my time at school. So far, I have learned that more than half the high school looks forward to lunch and their free bell and not much else. I look forward to the end of the day and tennis practice because I love that Upper School teams have such strong bonds, while Middle School teams lack this spirit. I really enjoy being with my sister in the high school and even more so on the tennis team.

My advantage in having an upper-class sibling is shown in the way I study. I study for a specified time in the order of my classes, per my sister’s suggestion. So far we haven’t encountered any problems other than the occasional forgotten calculator and the 20-yard dash down the giant stairs in the Commons. The annoying thing about having a sister in the Upper School is the occasional, “Hey, Allison!” I personally believe that my sister and I look very similar, but WE ARE NOT TWINS. We have similar characteristics such as our laugh, height, hair, eyes, and choice in most extracurricular activities. However, Allison has darker hair and lighter eyes. The recognition I get from being my sister’s sister is helpful in that Allison is well liked, which is nice when talking to members of the senior class. After watching my sister work all hours of the night on homework, I understand the pressure of being an Upper School student and am proud to call myself another Lazarus in the Upper School community. I will miss her in the Upper School next year. I believe this year will be hard, but as my sister says, “This is only the beginning.”

By Allison Lazarus, ’10, Perspectives Section Editor

Yes, I’m the sister of Meg Lazarus, ’13. It’s strange to have to say this seemingly constantly, when in past years it has never been an issue.  Before this year, Meg was always a division behind me, starting in the Elementary School just as I moved into the Middle School, and Middle School just as I moved into the Upper School.  However, studying in the same large building as she really doesn’t affect my day-to-day life, beyond the occasional annoying reminders of how alike we look.  Though I do see her every so often in the hallway, I’m not in any classes with her, and I appreciate that teachers don’t update me on her daily progress, as some seem to expect them to do.

Before the year began, I tried to impart as much advice as possible without overwhelming her with the many high school practices or discouraging her for her first days of school. I think that at least a small part of this advice has made her life a little bit easier than it would have been had she been the oldest in her family. For those freshmen students who don’t have siblings in the Upper School, they can always talk with their peer mentors for any advice.  It may just be the beginning for the freshmen, but they shouldn’t feel too intimidated to ask their fellow Upper School students for help.

Header photo courtesy of Allison Lazarus.