Student’s Educational Transition: Passion is Her Guide


Junior Hannah Farrell took part in Arete Academy for the first two years of her high school career.

Claire Bruder, Student of Journalism

High school can often be a whirlwind of emotion. For some students, however, a dramatic shift in the way that they learn presents an extreme challenge. Take it from Hannah Farrell, whose transition forever changed her view of education as a whole.

Farrell, a junior at NHS, took part in Arete Academy for the first two years of her high school career. The academy, open to freshmen and sophomores, offers a unique learning experience by inclining students to work together to prepare them for their future job.

But there’s a twist — students in the academy never take tests.

Farrell explains that for someone like her, this type of education suits certain students well. While Farrell admits that working with 60 to 80 other students became stressful at times, they often took time to focus on themselves by partaking in frequent breaks and group meditation.

As their final project, Arete students attempted to conjure an idea that could change the world. When finished, they shared their project with the community to try to receive recognition by sponsorships spotting students for potential jobs. For her project, Farrell created Preen Magazine, which highlighted the individuality of artists, ultimately leading her to discover her passion for art communication.  

Then the day came when Farrell transitioned back to normal learning — the day she says she lost her freedom. Her education became a step-by-step instruction manual instead of a way for her to passionately learn. Her new teachers became upset if she tried to change things up; teachers in Arete admired individual perception.

“So many students are just told how to get an A, but in Arete, you had to decide that for yourself.”

While the transition still affects her today, Farrell recommends Arete for anyone willing to do something different and see the bigger picture.