The Road to Adulthood

Seniors spend the day in special sessions
During this week’s We Wednesday, the senior class spent the day accruing some invaluable life skills.

After an on-campus Chick-fil-A breakfast, the girls worked through some exercises led by Mrs. Lauren Swanson and Ms. Liz O’Sullivan to help them grasp an understanding of their places in the world and to discuss what it means for some to have more advantages in life than others. Using various set budgets, small groups determined how much they would spend on what privileges they deemed most attractive. The list of options included Being able to study in a safe and reliable place and Being accepted by your neighbors, colleagues, and new friends. Later the girls joined with other groups with different budgets to discuss why they chose what they did and how the activity made them feel. Ms. Laura Vedas helped Swanson and O’Sullivan facilitate the larger discussions.

Then after lunch al fresco, the seniors headed to the Frierson Theatre to hear special guest speaker attorney Tammy Combs, GPS Mock Trial coach and mom and aunt to one GPS grad and three current students. Combs talked to the girls about What It Means to Be 18—their legal status as adults—along with the rights and privileges that come with adulthood. A robust Q&A had Combs fielding questions about what it means to serve on a jury, how one hires an attorney, how to handle traffic stops, and even what steps to take in the event of a sexual assault. 

From there the girls broke out into smaller group adulting sessions for the remainder of the day.* 

Session #1: Financial Fitness | Credit cards, investments, and budgeting with Mr. Chris Zeller and Dr. Brandon Noel
Topics covered included handling the financial realities that come with having a full-time job after graduation, owning or renting a place to live, financing a car, and managing credit.

Session #2: College Safety | Protecting yourself (and making good decisions) while on campus with Mrs. Tracie Durham, Mrs. Beverly Blackwell, and Ms. Susan McCarter
Topics covered included how to protect yourself when navigating campus and while dating and attending social functions as well as securing your personal belongings.

Session #3: Job Searching | Finding and maintaining a healthy work/school/life balance with Dr. Steve Harrison
Topics covered included looking for jobs and internships while in college and immediately afterward.

Session #4: Adulting with ADHD | Navigating life after high school with Ms. Kate Dix, who shared her own helpful strategies
Topics covered included the trials and tribulations associated with the distractibility, hyperfocus, and impulsivity that can be part of living with ADHD.

Session #5: Greek Life | Understanding the role of a sorority with Ms. Jordan McCarter, a former sorority advisor at TCU and Vanderbilt University
Topics covered included what to expect during rush and the recruitment process.

Session #6: Dorm Food | Learning how to prepare food with Chef Brad Grafton
Chef Brad demonstrated quick, easy, and healthful dorm meals made with a waffle iron or a hot pot.

A special thanks to all who organized, planned for, and executed this special day for the Class of 2021 before they depart GPS for uncharted territories.

*Prior to We Wednesday, the seniors were given the opportunity to sign up for the sessions that most interested them. Therefore not all sessions were attended by every student.