by Caitlyn Tierney
The Girl Thing was held during lunch periods this week to share senior girls’ advice and stories with underclassmen. According to senior Girl Thing Co-Facilitator Caroline Caruso, The Girl Thing aims to help freshmen avoid making mistakes that seniors have made.
Girl Thing Adviser and Health Teacher Ms. Susan Kolesar said, “The idea for ‘The Thing’ series...came out of my own belief and experience that sharing your story is mutually beneficial for the storyteller and the audience.”
She added, “It is therapeutic to tell your story, and it helps others learn from your successes and mistakes.”
Senior Girl Thing Co-Facilitator Allyson Capotorto said, “It is an inspiring program that helps underclassman girls to understand that we all go through struggles in high school [and that] they are not alone.”
Kolesar added: “The first ‘thing’ was actually ‘The Guy Thing’ back in 2005, [which] gave guys a time to discuss issues related to their sexual health without girls in the room.... Then girls came to me and requested a ‘Girl Thing,’ which we did that year as well.”
According to Caruso, although the target audience was freshmen, girls from all grades were invited. Anonymous letters written by senior girls were read aloud as part of the presentation. Other features of the event included an interactive presentation called “Off Da’ Hook” about the hookup culture of high school and “It Gets Better NOW,” which was open to all students and discussed the experiences of LGBT high schoolers.
Caruso said that the goal of the presentations is to guide students. She added, “We are not trying to scare them in any way, but we want them to know that things that you hear about in the news do happen to people at WHS.”
“There are three recurring themes I see over the years,” said Kolesar. “First, that although we all go through hard times, things get better. Second, get help when you need it because there are people who care and want to help you. Third, be yourself. In fact, that is the slogan for this year’s event, ‘Be YOU tiful.’”