Debunking Lowell myths

Myth: All Lowell students get a lot of homework.

Kimberly Yee
Contrary to popular belief, this is not what every Lowell student looks like.
  • “I think it differentiates based on what classes you take. Some classes don’t assign as much homework as others.”—Jillian Carrillo, 12th grade
  • “That is so not true, it really depends on how lazy you are and if you get your homework done at a decent hour or not.”—Riley Fairchild, 11th grade

Though Lowell upholds a general level of academic rigor, the truth is, homework loads vary tremendously from student to student. One of Lowell’s defining characteristics is how each student can select their own classes and teachers. This means every semester Lowellites can control their workload through combining optional Advanced Placement (AP) and honors classes with less demanding courses. Students are also able to prevent becoming overwhelmed by homework through developing effective study skills. Learning not to procrastinate and keeping track of assignments in a planner are helpful methods for not letting homework pile up.

Myth: There is a swimming pool on the fourth floor.

Kimberly Yee
What freshman imagine upon hearing about the fake fourth floor swimming pool.
  • “It’s a joke we tell all the freshmen.”—Amber Chung, 12th grade

As a Lowell freshman it is a tradition to be told that there is a swimming pool on the fourth floor of the main building. This myth is perpetuated by upperclassmen and Radio Lowell, and it is just a playful prank. Lowell has neither a fourth floor nor a swimming pool, but we do have a swim team and a swim class. The team and the class both practice at Sava Pool, a 20 minute walk from Lowell’s campus.

Myth: Everyone at Lowell is Type A.

Kimberly Yee
Neat, organized, and always doing homework. Are all Lowell students like this?
  • “I think there is a certain stereotype of people at Lowell, but I don’t think there is one type that fits everyone.”—Angeline Fong, 10th grade

Lowellites can be ambitious workaholics, but categorizing the entire student body as Type A is reductive. Typical Type B traits such as socialness and creativity are embedded in many Lowell traditions across campus. For instance, every semester the school holds Spirit Week where students decorate the halls with hand-painted posters and dress up in zainy costumes. Each Spirit Week culminates in an all-school rally where the grades compete in games like tug of war, and dance committees from each grade give rousing performances. The Visual and Performing Arts department also provides many year-round opportunities for students to express themselves creatively through productions such as the fall play, spring musical, dance showcases, and choir concerts.

Myth: Lowell students are super competitive with each other.

Kimberly Yee
Most Lowellites would not get upset comparing these scores.
  • “There are people who don’t care as much or can tune out the need to be competitive. Personally, I’m not very competitive because I know that it will just make me feel bad if I compare myself to others.”—Belle Callaghan-Sasone, 11th grade 
  • “Competition means people only care about themselves. Lowell really is not like that. Most people here are friendly and are willing to help you. If you don’t remember when an assignment is due, someone will remind you, they won’t leave you in the dust.”—Amy Chang, 11th grade

Thanks to Lowell’s selective admissions process and culture of overloading on AP classes, the school has garnered a cutthroat reputation. In actuality, Lowell students constantly collaborate and support one another. For example, upper classmen provide free tutoring in the library through Lowell’s chapter of the California Scholarship Federation, and the Peer Resources program works to build community through programs such as mentoring freshman. If students do begin struggling with feelings of competition and stress, they can receive support at the Wellness Center. The Wellness Center is located behind the Counseling Office and opens at 9:50 a.m. on Mondays, 12:50 p.m. on Wednesdays and 7:50 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Myth: Everyone at Lowell only cares about studying.

Kimberly Yee
The library not overflowing with students.
  • “There are definitely a lot of extracurriculars that people care about; it is more than what I had in mind before I came to Lowell.”—Joanna Garay, 10th grade. 
  • “It is true that a lot of people care about studying, but it’s evident from the amount of clubs and sports teams that there are people who are really passionate about other things.”—Chloe O’Keefe, 12th grade.

While Lowell’s in-depth curriculum does require devoting time outside of school to studying, the vast majority of students are also passionate about their extracurriculars. With 26 sports teams and upwards of 120 clubs, Lowell boasts a wide variety of non-studying activities students can get invested in. Further information on Lowell’s student government opportunities, organizations, sports, and clubs can be accessed on the Lowell Student Association website.

These myths were the most popular entries gathered through a question box on @thelowell’s Instagram story.