Seniors reflect on lessons learned throughout the Invest Yourself Fair


Photo by Alix Glickman ’23

Students attended a variety of stations at the Financial Reality Fair. After students had bought their necessary purchases, they conferenced with an adult about how the process went and reflected on how this translates to the real world.

After senior year, many students are leaving their homes and venturing out to different places. This is the first real taste of independence for many people. Making decisions about nutrition, social events, finances and relationships can be overwhelming and difficult. Fortunately, the Invest Yourself Fair covered these aspects to provide advice for students and help them adjust to these changes in the upcoming year.

Seniors participated in the Invest Yourself Fair on April 5. The day consisted of seminars about nutrition and sexual assault prevention, watching a film about mixing medications with alcohol and an interactive component that taught students how to prioritize their money. The purpose for the day was to help students prepare for their future and learn helpful tips that can be used towards college or whatever seniors’ plans are after high school.

“This fantastic program will engage the senior class of 2023 in a myriad of opportunities to explore topics around financial health and wellness,” James Farnen, Assistant Principal for seniors, said in an email addressed to the class of 2023. “This Invest in Yourself day coupled with the Senior Internship Program in May have been designed and implemented to support our seniors for life beyond high school.”

In the gymnasium, seniors used the app, Bite of Reality 2, to generate real life situations regarding finances. Seniors chose their career which then created their salary, and from there they practiced putting some of their money into savings. Seniors then got to walk around and go to different stations to buy housing, furniture, wifi, electronic devices, pets, beauty packages, vacations and more. Throughout the simulation, seniors could be alerted with different events that could either increase or decrease their balance. For example, having to get a present for your mom’s birthday.

Dylan Halky ’23 thought that these unpredictable alerts were a helpful addition to the activity because it resembled how the real world works.

“This activity is probably my favorite out of the day because it feels the most realistic and will help me the most in the future,” Halky said. “I had gotten a few alerts throughout it where I either gained or lost money. It taught me how it is always good to save extra money in case of emergencies or things you cannot control.”

I feel like the whole entire day taught me really important lessons that I will carry with me once I graduate. I appreciate the school coordinating something like this because it was such a unique experience.

— Dylan Halky ’23

In addition to the financial activity, students listened to presentations from Chartwells about Nutrition 101 which covered how to make healthy decisions after highschool.

“Not having my mom making meals anymore is kind of intimidating when I think about it because I have always relied on her,” Kate McDonald ’23 said. “The presentation about nutrition was helpful because it taught me how to make smart decisions in the dining hall.”

The nutrition presentation was followed up by a presentation about Sexual Assault Prevention and awareness provided by The Rowan Center. Then, the Westport Prevention Coalition shared the video “If Only They Had Known,” which covered the dangers of mixing Opioids and other drugs with alcohol. This helped provide students with knowledge about how to stay safe at parties, and touched upon how to make smart choices. Students felt that this movie really put into reality how to make smart decisions and to be cautious when at parties.

“This movie shared such a personal story and I learned a lot from it,” Finn Wolter ’23 said. “It showed how one wrong choice can have a detrimental effect for yourself or your friends and family.”

Seniors found this day really helpful to prepare themselves for life after Staples. The variety of presentations covered many aspects that students will be confronted with next year and after.

“I feel like the whole entire day taught me really important lessons that I will carry with me once I graduate,” Halky said. “I appreciate the school coordinating something like this because it was such a unique experience.”