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A reflection on the 7th grade hallway from a junior

From Clara ’25

The 7th-grade hallway. A territory infamously avoided. Treacherous to say the least. Having never been a 7th-grader at Marlborough, I feel sad (not really) that I never experienced the camaraderie that occurs within this sacred space. As a freshman, I felt partially grateful to not have to worry about avoiding such a major intersection on campus, since COVID prevented the mass circulation of people pretty much anywhere. I had heard (horror) stories about the impossibility of navigating through such a densely packed walkway, the drama, the booming voices and the gall of it all. As we all returned to being on campus full-time during my sophomore year, business was booming in the 7th-grade hallway. Screaming was back on full volume, and the decaying birthday decorations and notebooks began to pile up along the floor. Having gained a new sense of prowess as an upper-schooler, it felt obligatory to profess my feelings about the 7th graders while walking down the hallway. 

“I swear to God these new 7th graders are so insanely loud for no reason.”

“How is it even possible for them to block the entire hallway?”

“Don’t they have classes to go to or like MAPS or homework to do?”

Now, in retrospect, I think it’s fair to say I was a tad dramatic.After all, we’ve all been 7th-graders before, having minimal understanding of social cues and how to share a space with others. As a junior, I feel like I’ve not only learned to tune out the screams and the shouting, but I’ve developed a newly formed appreciation for the 7th-grade hallway. 

It’s one of the most underrated places to go on campus if you want to eavesdrop on the craziest stories and the most extravagant birthday celebrations you’ve ever seen. I can’t lie and say that I don’t avoid the hallway when I’m in a rush, but when I have time, I will take the occasional stroll. Compared to the Upper School lockers, the 7th-grade lockers are a hub of community. Although the close corners and the noise can seem off-putting to many, the 7th-grade hallway has grown on me. Not necessarily in a wholesome way, but more like a barnacle that I’ve learned to get used to and appreciate. Maybe I decorated the barnacle with nail polish or gems or something, but that’s beside the point though. The 7th-grade hallway is a great space of bonding on campus and I’ve developed a whole lot more respect for the 7th-graders. They’re the next generation of Marlborough after all. So next year as a senior, I’ll be ready to Lara Croft my way around the 7th-graders in the hallway, rather than going all the way over by Caswell or around the Language Department. And not only will I look forward to it, but I’ll also enjoy it. 

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