Different schools, different attitudes

By Ariel Rivkin
Published: June 2010

All high schools consist of students, teachers, homework, tests, stress, sports, clubs, and theater. Despite these similarities, each school differs in culture.

The interests, behavior and interactions of students affect the culture of each school. Although close in proximity, public high schools such as Newton South, Newton North, Brookline and Needham each have their own unique atmosphere.  

Although a commonality for all high schools, the attitude towards partying differs for each school. “North kids are very bold, said Newton North junior Tiffany Chen. “The attitude at North is to live life to the fullest¦ go out and have fun and whatever happens, happens. North kids want to enjoy life, be young and carefree, said Chen.

Newton North junior Nathane Lamas agrees. “A lot of kids at North think that they are unstoppable and that nothing bad will ever happen, she said. 

Many South students such as senior Julie Katzeff, believe that South students take on a more cautious approach regarding partying.

“A lot of South kids know what to do and say to make parents and teachers happy but they still go ahead and do their own thing¦Many South kids butter things up to appear differently, Katzeff said.

South senior Hannah Floyd believes that this has to do with the college conscience culture at the school.

“In general, kids at South are more pretentious when it comes to school¦but there are kids who party like at all the other schools, Floyd said. 

South junior Danya Ravid, who attended Brookline High School her freshman year, believes that partying at Brookline High School is “more chill than it is at North and South due to the available and accessible public transportation and urban atmosphere.

“People hang outside much more and there is never really a specific place to party. Because the T is so close, people go all over in parks and fields, whenever they want, Ravid said.

In addition to partying, Ravid feels that the public transportation creates a more general relaxed environment with independent, urban and flexible students. “There are no school buses at Brookline, Ravid said. “There is no need since the train system is so good there. Everyone just walks home or takes the T.

Brookline High School junior Maya Tamir agrees. “Brookline is very open¦people are always walking around or sitting outside, Tamir said.   
Ravid believes that Brookline students acquire independence and responsibility by having available public transportation.

“[Public Transportation] helps Brookline students to be more mature and responsible. Because in Brookline, in order to get around you use the T so you have to know the correct times of the T. You learn to manage your time really well. Freshman year I had to take the T to school every morning so I had to be aware of when I needed to get out the door in order to be on time.

Although being aware of bus and train times might add to the stress of life, Ravid enjoyed various benefits of attending school in a more urban city.

“Now I realize that it was so helpful and amazing because I now know how to get to where I need to go¦I gained a lot of independence by knowing how to get myself places¦ I don’t think people at South are as aware in that respect, Ravid said. 

Ravid also feels that with the available public transportation, Brookline students experience different types of relationships with their parents regarding trust and academics. “The public transportation creates a more relaxed environment.

The parents just automatically know there is a way for their kids to get places. The kids take care of themselves more, and are more motivated themselves to do well, instead of kids being pushed by their parents, like at South, Ravid said. 

At North, attending sports events is a popular pastime. Lamas believes that the consistent and strong fan base of North students makes the Newton North atmosphere more familial.

“North is very, very, spirited. When it comes to school sports we have a great fan base. We have the sixth man at basketball games and we always wear orange and black, Lamas said. “We create a community that other schools don’t have.

Rather than attending sporting events, Floyd feels that many South students spend their time individually instead of as a community. “I think a lot of kids here are very committed to their school work¦they just don’t feel like supporting their school, Floyd said.

However, South Freshman Eliza Spiegleman believes that South students are spirited. “I think there are people who go all out and other kids who don’t really care. I think were pretty good about it. Spiegleman said. 

In contrast to sporting events and studying, many students at Needham High spend their time attending country music concerts together.

Needham High School junior Carolyn Moore enjoys how unifying the music is. “Country Music is very popular at Needham, We all go to country music concerts together, which is fun because everyone tailgates so its something different to do rather than the same old same old, Moore said.

The different cultures found at different high schools reflect the unique environments of every city, as well as the unique combination of people that inhabit it.

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