The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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A Long-Standing Tradition

The Big Sis Lil’ Sis tradition helps build bridges for seniors and freshmen
Gracie Little ’24
Seniors wait outside of the theater to greet their lil’ sisses. Each senior decorated a poster for her lil sis.

The Big Sis Lil’ Sis tradition has been around for many years in the Hockaday community. Every year, a senior is paired with a freshman in hopes for the two to create a close bond, and so that the senior can help guide the freshman throughout her first year of Upper School.  

 As a way for the seniors to pass on the torch to the freshman, this tradition strives to create a closer bond between the two grades. The Student Relations Board organizes the “Big Sis/ Lil’ Sis” tradition. The SRB mission statement states that they “aspire to promote unity across all grades as well as ensuring the smooth integration of new students into the Hockaday community to create a more cohesive and welcoming environment.”   

The board helps to pair the groups and plan activities throughout the year for the seniors and freshman.

“The seniors have a lot of wisdom after being here for so long and I think it’s really beneficial for them to kind of show their Lil’ Sis the way,” SRB Chair Gracie Little said. “It helps the Lil’ Sisses feel like they belong in Upper School.” 

 The process of making the senior and freshmen pairs starts before the summer.

“We made a survey, sent it out, and then over the summer I paired people up based on their interests,” Little said.  

 Seniors can request freshmen and vice versa, but if multiple people request the same person, Little pairs them based on most-shared interests. Altogether, it took Little about eight to ten hours to pair everyone together. Sometimes, there may be more seniors than freshman, and in that case, seniors will share one Lil’ Sis.  

 For the reveal, freshmen waited in the theatre while the seniors lined up outside holding posters with the names of their Lil’ Sisses. The freshmen then walked out of the theatre to find their Big Sisses holding posters with their names on it. The posters are hung on the freshman lockers and are usually personalized with the Lil’ Sisses’ interests and advice from their Big Sisses.  

The Student Relations Board plans to have one Big Sis Lil’ Sis event every quarter for a total of four events throughout the year. This year, they plan on having a DJ at the events, something that hasn’t been done in two years.  

Little hopes that the Big Sisses and Lil’ Sisses will hang out frequently.

“I hope that maybe the Big Sis can keep up with the Lil’ Sis as she goes through high school, even when the Big Sis is in college,” she said.  

Senior Caroline Warlick and freshman Sophia Fagelman are a Big Sis Lil’ Sis pair. Warlick and Fagelman are both on the varsity field hockey team, and they also both play lacrosse. 

Both Warlick and Fagelman are excited to be a part of this tradition.

“I love being able to partner up with a freshman and get to know them better,” Warlick said. “It’s exciting to unite everyone, especially with the seniors exiting and the freshmen coming in.”  

“Being a freshman it’s really nice to have someone that’s already been through high school and like a friendly face in the hallway,” Fagelman said.   

When Warlick was a freshman, the world was in the thick of COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these conditions, she was still able to form and maintain a great relationship with her Big Sis. Warlick had been friends with her Big Sis since Lower School, and she was someone who Warlick could talk to and receive guidance from.

“I definitely learned a lot from being a Lil’ Sis,” Warlick said. 

At the Big Sis reveal, Fagelman was surprised to find out who her Big Sis was. She had requested Warlick as a Big Sis because one of her friends recommended them to be together.

“I couldn’t find my sign at first, but when I did, I was surprised because I didn’t know I would actually get her,” Fagelman said.  

Warlick decorated a poster for Fagelman. Along with Fagelman’s name, Warlick attached an envelope with cards in it that are designated to be opened on specific important days, such as the first day of school and first SPC game. After the reveal, Warlick took Fagelman on a tour of the Upper School.

“It was so much fun because I’d never seen that part of the school before.” Fagelman said. 

Warlick and Fagelman both enjoy being on the field hockey team together.

“Being on the same sports team definitely helps our relationship,” Warlick said. “I feel like for some of my friends and their Lil’ Sisses, they have to schedule specific things, but we see each other every day.”

Warlick and Fagelman both said that they feel that being on the same sports team bridges the gap between ages and they feel like friends and teammates rather than a senior and freshman. 

The long-standing tradition of Big Sis Lil’ Sis is one that connects the oldest and youngest grades of Upper School. For many, the relationships between Big Sisses and Lil’ Sisses have impacted much of their high school life.

“The Big Sis Lil’ Sis tradition helps to unite everyone,” Warlick said. 

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Melinda Hu, Staff Writer

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