Name: Eileen
Graduation Year: 2025
Middle School: Stone Valley Middle
Hometown: Alamo
What advice would you give to 8th graders applying to high school? I was really intimidated by the application– an interview, several long answer essay prompts, optional test scores... little 8th grade me felt completely in over my head! But if you have plans and deadlines for yourself that you stick to, it will all feel much more manageable. In the end, all anyone (including yourself) can ask is that you do your best. So work hard, be proud of your accomplishments, and don't let anything stop you from sending that app out!
What has been your favorite class so far (and why)? My favorite class at CPS is physics! I didn't expect to like physics, as I've always been a humanities person, but the class is so well designed and I ended up loving it. Ms. Stanton and Tetler (I had both) are both brilliant, kind teachers that love what they do, and Tetler always has some first-rate science memes on hand:) I will never forget the day when we stuffed (willing) students into little push carts and sprinted them up and down the parking lot while screaming our heads off, all in the name of measuring inertia! Labs like this made me look forward to physics every day. It was a challenging course, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
What is your favorite thing about College Prep? The community at CPS is unlike any other. Because the school is so small, it's much easier to form meaningful connections and talk to people with a multitude of experiences, opinions, and perspectives, whether that's classmates, teachers, or even the BART shuttle driver. The people here are kind and genuinely care about each other. I've found some truly amazing people that I'm lucky to call friends, and I know I wouldn't have had this experience if I'd gone to my local high school.

Biggest difference between middle school and high school? In middle school, I was surrounded by students who couldn't care less about their education, and the learning itself was often boring and not challenging enough. Coming to CPS was a huge shock, as I was suddenly expected to do so much more work at a level higher than I'd ever thought possible! Before CPS I'd been in total darkness, and once I'd turned the light on it felt like I'd completely blinded myself. While the curriculum is rigorous and demanding, our teachers are so wonderfully supportive and eager to help and meet with us, which helped me find my footing. 
What is your favorite place on campus (and why)? I love studying (or attempting to) with my friends at the coffee tables in the very back of the library. We often try to squish as many people as possible around the circular tables, with varying degrees of success and a lot of laughs. There is no jealous gatekeeping of knowledge here– whether it’s impenetrable geometry, tips on how best to play the New York Times Crossword, or how to make the perfect cup of tea, there is always someone who wants to help or teach.  

What is your best College Prep memory? After we survived our very first finals week, my friends and I trooped down to Rockridge and had a pizza party at Zachary's to celebrate. The pizza was heavenly, the vibes were immaculate, and I remember that being one of the moments when everything started to click in place and I felt like I truly belonged at CPS.
Three unusual things about you: 
1. My fingers are double-jointed! I love grossing my mom out by showcasing my double jointed-ness
2. I enjoy sewing and knitting. I just sewed up a pair of pink overalls this summer and finished a sweater!
3. My family loves national parks. Especially when we were little, we'd pile up in the family van and take road trips to national parks across the country. I've been to at least 20 so far, and counting!