Ask Hillary: The NCDS Advice Column


This edition, we are answering questions about semi and Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

All my friends are bringing dates, but I don’t know if I want to. What should I do?

I’ll be honest, bringing a date can be kinda a hassle, so I don’t blame you for not wanting to take a date! Bringing a date means you may need to babysit them for the whole night, especially if they don’t have any other friends there. And if you get set up with someone, conversation can be awkward at first. Going alone can be fun and stress-free, because it means that you are only responsible for yourself, so you can just have fun with your friends and classmates!

However, if you do choose to bring a date, this can be a fun option too. Meeting new people can be an exciting experience, and may be the start to a great friendship. And bringing a friend you know well can be fun as well, because you can introduce them to your friends.

Remember that bringing a guest is completely optional, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to. There are pros and cons to both options, but whichever you choose, stay open minded and get excited for a fun night!


I want to bring a guest, but I don’t know who to bring! Any help?

This is a tough one. There is no right answer for everyone, but you have a few options.

First, if you have a friend that you think would be fun to hangout with at semi, reach out to them! Often times, they will be able to find friends to go with your friends, and that way they will have friends at semi too.

If you can’t think of anyone you already know, consider getting set up with someone. Plenty of NCDS students get set up for semi, and it can be a fun experience. Find a friend who already has a date and see if their date knows anyone that would be interested in going. Getting set up can be a bit nerve-wracking, but remember that it is only one night; if it doesn’t go well, you never have to see them again. But if you do have fun with them, that’s great! Semi setups can be the start of a great friendship or relationship.


I’ve heard stories about students getting in trouble for their dates’ behaviors at semi. How do I avoid this?

First of all, be sure to take someone that will be mature and act responsibly. You don’t want to be held responsible for your date’s bad behavior. If you are being set up, send your date a text beforehand reminding them that drinking/drugs are never allowed at semi, and that you will get in trouble if they break the rules. It might feel awkward to say this before even meeting them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

If you notice your date acting weird at semi, know that you can tell any teacher or parent chaperone there. If you come to them first, they will not be upset with you, and they will help you figure out the situation.

Remember that semi is supposed to be a safe and fun evening for everyone, and we don’t want to disappoint our teachers and Student Government, who have all planned a fun semi for us!


I always get bored over Thanksgiving break. Any ideas for things to do?

It’s nice to have less homework over Thanksgiving break, but there is definitely space to get bored! Here are some ideas to fill your time:

  • Workout – Try a new workout video or go for a run to burn off all those Thanksgiving calories! You can make it fun by doing it with a friend or family member.
  • Spend some time outside – During the school week, it can be hard to find time to go outside. Use this free time to go for a hike or walk with your family and get some fresh air. Some of my personal favorite spots for hiking and walking are Blue Hills in Milton, Middlesex Fells, and Cutler Reservation in Needham.
  • Tap into your creative side – Feeling artsy? Try your hand in painting, or pick up a coloring book to relax.
  • Sleep – Seriously, Thanksgiving break is a great time to catch up on sleep!
  • Spend time with family – It can be easy to forget to spend time with your family during the busy school week, so use Thanksgiving break to reconnect. Play football outside, do a puzzle, go for a walk, or play a game; no matter what you do, try to disconnect from your phone and social media while spending time with your family.