The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

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Interviewing the Class of 2027

Jumping from middle school to high school can be difficult and maybe even a little scary. Let’s hear how the freshmen of HSMSE are transitioning!

Wide, scary halls. Big, looming lockers. Tests at least twice a day. Mean stares from people you don’t even know. This is how movies like Mean Girls, Never Have I Ever, High School Musical, and countless others have portrayed high school. While this cliche might be popular in movies, does it apply to HSMSE? We asked this question, along with many more, to this year’s freshmen.  As we all know, you have to take the SHSAT to get into HSMSE. While this may seem daunting to middle schoolers, it didn’t stop the approximately 26,000 students who took the SHSAT in 2022. Only 174 students got in, making the acceptance rate 0.7%. With an acceptance rate so low, we wanted to know: why choose our school? Lila Printz says, “I heard about the great academics at HSMSE. I’ve always been more STEM focused, and the idea of coming to a school that celebrated that was very appealing.” Many students were drawn to the fact our school is so small. “The smaller environment of our school really helps because there’s less people so you can connect with more people in a better way,” says Zaynab Bah. Regardless of why the freshmen applied to HSMSE, everyone had something to say about their first day. “I was nervous at first to start somewhere new,” says Lila Printz, “but by lunchtime I had already begun to meet people and make friends.” Aurora Vigna-Califano agreed, saying, “We all found each other on the first day.” 


We’ve all seen the way high school is portrayed in popular media. HSMSE may not be very similar to the classic “TV high school,” so we wondered what the freshman expected on their first day. Were those expectations met? Aaron Darko thinks, “It’s kinda exactly what I imagined.” He later explained that “being a small school, you see everybody most of the day and you can have a better relationship with the teachers and kids in general.” Ambrose Sukraj disagreed, saying, “it’s a little bit different, I didn’t think the campus would be so big, and I thought there would be a little bit more students.”


For some students, joining clubs and sports teams made it easier for them to adjust. Aurora Vigna-Califano joined Key club, saying that she got “the sense of community” and felt that the sophomores and juniors were “like role models in the sense they can help you around.” Zaynab Bah joined both Key Club and the Black Student Union. Joining clubs is not only a great way to be a part of the school community, but also a great way to meet more people.

We asked the freshman how HSMSE measures up to other schools they have attended, depending on where they came from. Zaynab Bah says, “In my middle school everyone knew each other and it’s kinda the same here. Everyone’s starting to know who everyone is. My middle school was also academically rigorous so it’s similar in that way.” While many agreed, others thought more similarly to Aurora, who said: “It’s pretty different from my school. I went to a private school before so it’s different in that kind of sense and also the schedule is completely different. The A-B day, how you have a full day to do your homework and then you also have 70 minute classes which was very different from what I experienced.” 

Moving to a new school can be challenging in many ways, and getting adjusted to a whole new building is one of them. Some freshmen even had criticisms to share. Similar to many students, Aaron Darko thinks that “the stairways and the hallways when changing classes get very crowded and it’s very easy to get hurt.” One way for the freshmen to voice these opinions is to join the Echo! The Echo newspaper is a great way to get involved with the school, and a helpful resource students can use to raise awareness about important issues. 

So far, the freshmen seem to be adjusting well to HSMSE. They are very positive and enthusiastic about the year to come, and we hope it stays that way! The freshmen offer a bright, new perspective on HSMSE and are full of interesting ideas to help make the community even stronger than before. We can’t wait to see what the dragons of 2027 will bring to HSMSE this year! 

Special thanks to Zaynab Bah, Aaron Darko, Lila Printz, Ambrose Sukraj, and Aurora Vigna-Califano

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