UHS is a place for everyone because it offers the students so many opportunities to learn and grow in various fields, such as academics, athletics, and arts. I chose to come to UHS because I was excited to explore the different sides of me. When I visited UHS in eighth grade I visited a drawing class that I ended up taking my freshman year. I was drawn to the casual interactions between the students and their teacher. I also visited a history class; I was impressed by how engaged all the students were and the leadership they displayed in the discussions. On my visit, my host introduced me to the block schedule. This schedule excited me because it allowed for longer class periods with more in depth discussions, as well as extra nights to do the homework for each class.
Athletics was also a big part of my decision; I have been playing sports my entire life. It surprised me when I found out that UHS has such a strong athletic program and teams that play at such a high level because UHS is known for its rigorous academics. I was eager to be part of this program because I had heard that it’s a great place to meet people throughout the UHS community. As a freshman I met many people through soccer and track, and even now, I continue to make new friends through sports.
As my time at UHS comes to an end, I have begun to reflect on my experience over the past three years. As a prospective transfer student coming from overseas, I anticipated the process of choosing a high school that suited me to be an extremely difficult experience. However, it was my shadow visit that truly swayed my decision towards choosing UHS as the school for me.
By the time my visit was over, I was sure that I had found my new home for the next 3 years. The thing that stood out to me the most was the overarching attitude of the students. Over the course of my visit, I gathered that the students who attended UHS had a true desire to learn. In each of the classes I observed, the students were fully engaged and participated in collaborative discussions. It wasn’t until my visit to UHS did I realize what my previous school experience had been missing: being surrounded by people who truly wanted to be at school, and had a common passion for learning. It was instantly obvious to me that the students who attended University High School were there because they chose to be. So, to all admitted students, I am so incredibly happy with my decision to become a Red Devil. I know that UHS is the perfect school for me, and I hope it will be for you too!
I chose UHS because coming from New Jersey, I wanted a small, community-oriented based school, and UHS seemed like just the one. When I shadowed, I was passed between 4 students, all caring about my well-being. I knew I would not be lost that day. All of them asked about New Jersey and why I was moving. It seemed like they really cared about me even though we had met that morning. Everyone was caring and kind, and this was the major factor that made me want to come to UHS. I also wanted to continue the challenge of balancing academics, sports, and extracurriculars. My middle school was extremely hard and I learned how hard work pays off. Another thing that I wanted in high school was to be surrounded by students who wanted to learn about unique topics. While shadowing, I talked to students about their experiences in school and out and I realized everyone had really diverse backgrounds, which was something I appreciated. I also chose UHS because of the teachers. Let me tell you, the teachers (and faculty) here are AMAZING. They are the most wonderful people I have ever met. I knew I would have the support academically and mentally. Finally, I chose UHS because of the sports teams. In the past year, UHS has won 10+ league titles. I knew before coming to UHS that I wanted to possibly focus on playing sports in college. The success of the teams here were a sign that I would be able to be competitive.
After attending FAIS for 8 years, I was ready for a change. Though FAIS was a wonderful school and I made some really good friends there, I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience something new and challenging.
At first, I was wary of UHS because of what I had heard about it. I didn’t know if I would be able to handle difficult academics on top of making new friends, playing high school sports and adjusting to a new environment.
When I first toured, I was shocked to find how warm and welcoming the community felt. Students had also gone to middle school at FAIS said “Hi” to me when I walked around with my shadow and I felt included in many of the class discussions.
The deciding factor for me was when I noticed how passionate each of the students were. Whether it was a sport, a musical instrument, theater, physics, community service or anything in between, each student seemed to be interested in something. What was even more exciting was how the UHS community rallied in support for whatever someone was passionate about. I genuinely felt that by attending UHS I would have a space to learn and grow as a student but also as a person, through exploring new topics and finding what I love to learn about, with the UHS community supporting me.
Theo ‘ 19
For me, the decision to come to UHS was a simple one. In sixth grade, the UHS swim team began practicing with my swim team, and every Tuesday and Thursday I would get to swim with them. And even though I was in sixth grade, everyone on the team accepted me and let me join in on their conversations. Over the next two and a half years, I got to hear all about the intricacies of life at UHS, from the teachers to the social life. Hearing about the relationship between the students and the teachers was intriguing to me, especially coming from public school where the teachers were far to stressed to be friends with us.
Everything the people on the swim team told me was only cemented during my visit to UHS. I visited a Spanish class and a math class, where I understood nothing in either. But because I didn’t know anything about either class, I was able to see the dynamics between the teachers and the students. The teachers were actually joking around and the students were enjoying themselves, something I had not seen up to that point in public school. When it eventually came to decide between schools, UHS was the only option for me.
In middle school, I always associated math class with equations, variables, and an infinite amount of practice worksheets. I associated history with presentations, nightly readings, and weekly tests where I essentially spit back what was repeated at me that previous week. Honestly, I didn’t expect my high school classes to be any different. However, I was pleasantly surprised when during the first week of school, our English teacher decided to step completely out of the conversation in order to allow for a completely student-facilitated discussion. That day, we went from discussing the text to debating the effects history as a whole had on music, art, and even math. Since that day, I’ve continued to be fascinated and intrigued by the interdisciplinary nature of the classes I’ve taken. From discussing music’s influence from philosophy and writing to discussing the gender wage gap in my statistics class, one of my favorite things about UHS is that the teachers always bring in some sort of outside-the-classroom topic to inspire students to do their own learning outside the classroom. It is through this engagement with the material we learn in class that I can see just how passionate each of my teachers are.
As an eighth grader, I got the impression that although UHS would provide a fantastic education, I would sacrifice a good part of my enjoyment of high school. The first part is definitely accurate; my writing style has improved leaps and bounds and I’m learning math I could never have comprehended in middle school. But what makes UHS truly special is that the school achieves the first part without the burnout past students stressed. Classes meet only three times a week, assignments are limited to 45 minutes a night per class, and students here are happy to help each other during waves of work. And although I didn’t have this perk as a prospective student, since I enrolled, UHS has made school start at 9 a.m. Wednesday through Friday. If I were an eighth grader now, I would be asking, “You’re saying I can do take advanced high school curriculum, do a high-school load of homework, and still sleep in?” You won’t find that anywhere else. Throughout my career I have greatly appreciated UHS’ drive to make me learn but also its care for my well-being, and if I were a prospective applicant, knowing about this duality would have set UHS ahead of any other school.