Middle School: Prospect Sierra
What's the biggest difference between middle school and high school? Besides the obvious change in academic workload, I’ve experienced a pretty different social situation in high school. At my middle school, there was very little interaction between grades, beyond those found through team sports or after school plays. Sure, we’d talk every now and then, but there wasn’t much acknowledgement of each other in the halls. But in high school, it’s way more common to have close friends in the grades above and below you. Some of my best friends have been two, even three years above me, and I’ve found this to be insanely valuable because I can get their advice and perspectives on my life (and they can also give me tips for school). I think these cross-grade relationships are a testament to the amazing community here at Prep -- we don’t separate ourselves from other grades, but instead reach out to everyone.
Why are you glad that you chose College Prep? When I was looking for high schools, I wanted to go to a school where the students actually wanted to be there to learn, as well as build a strong community. I won’t namedrop here, but on a shadow visit to a different high school, I felt like I, the 8th grade shadow, was the only one paying attention in math class! But when I shadowed at Prep, I could see that all the students in math class were engaged with the topic (vectors), and I felt so relieved. During that shadow visit, I could see a vibrant community filled with people who cared about what they were learning. I think that really solidified my decision that College Prep was the right place for me.
What advice do you have for 8th graders applying to high school? Talk to the students on your shadow visits! I think it’s super important to get a sense of the people and community at the high schools you’re looking at because those will be your peers for the next 4 years of your life. The shadow visit is a great time to feel out what your experience at the school could be like and learn about the school environment. I asked my guides lots of questions, and I feel like it really helped me get a good sense of the schools I visited.
What campus activities are you involved in? I act in the theatre productions here at Prep! I’ve been doing them since my freshman year, and they’ve been some of my favorite experiences in high school. Not only do I love the plays because I’m passionate about acting, but I also value them because I’ve met some amazing people. The whole cast becomes a family, and we’re all there to support each other through everything. I met some of my best friends through these shows, and I wouldn’t have met them without the drama program here. I also participate in a lot of clubs! I lead 5 clubs on campus (Rothfuss, Knitting, Improv, Drama, and Frisbee Club), and I’m also part of Science Olympiad. Clubs give me a place to develop my extracurricular interests and share them with the rest of the community. And, of course, I’m also an admissions ambassador! I love working with the admissions office because I find it super interesting to meet all the prospective families and tell them my experiences at Prep. I love being a part of this community, and I want to share that with people.
What is your favorite College Prep memory? My first Spirit Week freshman year. We were playing the seniors in the dodgeball competition, and things weren’t looking too great for us. We kept losing player after player, until we only had one person left in the game. Everyone thought we were going to lose because we were merely freshmen playing the seniors, and now the odds were stacked against us. But, miraculously, our last player caught a ball someone threw at him, allowing the rest of the team to rejoin the game! They swarmed back on the court and totally obliterated the seniors. We were all freaking out and screaming so loudly because no one had seen that coming. It was so much fun to just revel in the victory with the rest of my grade and celebrate.
What is your favorite place on campus? My favorite place on campus is the Learning Center (aka the LC). My freshman and sophomore years, I thought that going into the LC was a bad thing because that would mean I needed help with math. I was convinced that needing help meant that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was, so I literally never set foot into the room. But last year, I struggled with math and finally realized that asking for help would, in fact, help me do better! So I went into the LC for a meeting, and the room turned into my second home. Now, most of my time there isn’t spent doing math -- I’ve found it to be a great hangout spot, as well as a locale to solve puzzles for candy.
What has been your favorite class? My favorite class at Prep was my English seminar last year -- Literary Monsters. In this class, we read some exciting texts like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Medea, and explored what defines monstrosity in literature. It was such a fascinating class because we delved deep into conversations about humanity, good, evil, and morality, and all the texts were fun to read. For me, this class is a testament to the high quality of education here
What has been the best thing about College Prep? I love the faculty and staff at Prep so much! All the teachers are absolutely amazing, and they truly care about their students. I think it’s really important to have good relationships with your teachers, and I feel so lucky to say that I can connect with them beyond just the classroom setting. If I’m having a bad day, odds are my teachers will notice and ask if they can do anything to help. The community here encompasses not only the students, but also the adults on campus.
Who is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series? My favorite television character is Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Patrick Stewart portrays the character so well, and adds amazing nuance and depth to him. I find Picard to be an inspiring character because he sticks to his morals in the face of adversity, but he also makes mistakes and learns from them.
1. I go to China every summer to visit my family.
2. I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek.
3. I’ve broken both my pinky fingers.