Name: Riya
Graduation Year: 2024
Middle School: North Creek Academy
Hometown: Concord
Biggest difference between middle school and high school? High school definitely begins to test your skills of time management and you may pick up a lot more commitments over these years. Though this may sound stressful, you get to explore your passions and try so many new things. I've found so much community and learned so much about myself because of it! I really feel like coming from middle school to high school my world just exploded in interests and activities.
What advice would you give to 8th graders applying to high school? Do what YOU want to do, not what anybody else says you should. There's often peer pressure about where to go and where your middle school friends are going. In my case, I was almost convinced to go to a different school because my friends were all going elsewhere. Then I visited College Prep and fell in love with the school. You'll find that you know yourself best, and will be able to identify what school will fit you the most. School visits are super important!
What is your favorite place on campus (and why)? The steps under the tree at the top of campus. It's shady and normally very quiet as compared to the rest of campus. I love sitting there and enjoying our beautiful campus! You can always hear the birds chirping and it gives a great view of the flower blooms that tend to sprawl across our buildings in the springtime. As an added bonus, it's right next to the most entertaining classroom on campus- the LATIN ROOM!
What is your best College Prep memory? This is so difficult to answer because of how many good times I've had at CPS, but I'd say sophomore retreat trumps them all. We spent the whole day singing, laughing, and swimming. I was spent at the end of the day of river rafting but also so, so happy. When I got into my sleeping mat next to my friends and looked up at the stars, I felt totally content. It was so gratifying to have had such a long day, then lie down next to my favorite people and point out constellations while quietly giggling and being giddy about the busy day ahead. 
What has been your favorite class so far (and why)? I LOVED Chem in sophomore year. My class was really a fun group of people (as most classes are at CPS), our teacher was GREAT at what he did, and the content was super engaging for me. I've always been a bit of a science nerd and chem really combined the best of math-y and logic-y science together for me. The coursework involved a LOT of hands-on experiments plus occasionally lighting stuff on fire. I think one of the best parts of STEM is having that "aha" moment where it clicks that what you're learning actually does real, crazy stuff in real life, and chem allowed for many of those aha moments. It was just the perfect level of challenging and navigable!
What is your favorite thing about College Prep? I've said it a million times, but it has to be the community. Each and every person admitted to CPS is special and super unique, and you'll never find someone who doesn't have fascinating insights or a cool hobby to share. I think being part of a group of learners who each truly care and are passionate about what they can do in the school environment is so, so valuable. I've grown so much because people have been kind enough to advise me with their expertise from shared interests or even shown me things I never knew before! CPS has challenged me deeply, not only academically, but also to explore parts of myself that I never really tapped into, and because of that I've discovered so many new loves.
What is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series? I LOVE Kate Sharma from Bridgerton. She's a South Asian icon and role model, super independent, an amazing feminist in the midst of a lot of patriarchy, and a caring sister and friend to all around her. Despite the things that go awry in her life, I think she really has her loved ones' best interests at heart. So selfless! So kind! So pretty!
Three unusual things about you:
1. I have the words to "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel memorized by heart. 
2. I am great at crosswords and play the New York Times mini everyday, even when I can't make time for the big one :(
3. I write for a fairly niche magazine specifically made for and by the South Asian Diaspora, called Jore, in which I specialize in feminist issues- I even gave a TEDx talk about South Asian feminism!