Name: Ella
Graduation Year: 2021
Middle School: Hillcrest
What's the biggest difference between middle school and high school? The responsibility over my  own work that the teachers give me. It’s really on me to get my work done and ask for help when I need it. It’s definitely more responsibility, but it also means that I get a chance to explore what I am interested in and complete assignments in ways that make them interesting to me. 
Why are you glad that you chose College Prep? During my shadow I felt that being at College Prep would not only provide opportunities for me to challenge myself academically, but also be a space where I felt happy and comfortable and fit in with the people around me. I could see from my visit how engaged and excited everybody was in class, and being here at CPS, this level of engagement makes the classes active and enjoyable. 
What advice do you have for 8th graders applying to high school? Think about where you want to spend the next four years of your life and what would make that time the most enjoyable, rather than focusing solely on what will get you into the "best" college. It’s totally ok to be nervous, but know that, wherever you go, you’ll find your place and youre people if you are open to looking for them. 
What campus activities are you involved in? Soccer, Drama and the GSA. The College Prep soccer team gave me an opportunity to get to know a lot of people who I otherwise would not have met, and gave me the chance to branch out and talk to more people in other grades. In Drama, I feel comfortable sharing my love of theater with the rest of the school, while having so much fun and being part of a really lovely drama family. This year, I am a co-leader of the GSA (Gender and Sexuality Awareness Club). I've been a part of GSA since my freshman year and it's given me an opportunity to explore who I am, express myself, meet lots and lots of people, and discuss things that are interesting and important to me.
What is your favorite College Prep memory? Shooting arrows at Orcs in the gully during an Intraterm week of nothing but Lord of the Rings. It’s just one of the many wacky and incredible things that happen on a regular basis at CPS.
What is your favorite place on campus? There is a rock right in the center of campus, under an apple tree. Everybody walks by it so, sitting there during lunch or an open block, I get the chance to have a conversation with someone I haven't seen in a while. It is a quiet, beautiful place to work, while still letting me feel like I'm right in the center of everything.
What has been your favorite class? I loved Asian Worlds (freshman history). I came into College Prep thinking that I was much more of a science and math person, but I had so much fun in Asian Worlds and I learned so much fascinating history that I never would have expected myself to be interested in. History has since become one of my favorite subjects. Asian Worlds  taught me to go into classes expecting to enjoy them, rather than telling myself it isn’t “my thing”. 
What has been the best thing about College Prep? I love how connected everybody is. Students are excited to spend time with people in other grades and all of the teachers want to get to know the students and help them or chat with them, even outside of a classroom setting. I also love just how many fascinating, random, nerdy conversations I manage to have in a single day at Prep.
Who is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series? Commander Harold from Blackout by Connie Willis. There’s so much life and personality in him, which I think is incredible, especially since he is such a minor character. I love his wit and how confident he is doing everything that everybody tells him he can’t do (and doing it perfectly, of course) and how comfortable he is living in a world that everybody tells him doesn’t exist (and proving them wrong).
1. I have a strange knack for fitting everybody's luggage neatly into the back of the car.
2. If I were only allowed one dessert for the rest of my life it would be black licorice and I would not regret it.
3. I can spin fire.