Name: Hanako
Middle School:  Seven Hills
Hometown: Concord
What's the biggest difference between middle school and high school? For me, it was the size. I went to a small middle school, and I’d known most of the people in my grade since kindergarten. I really enjoyed getting to know new people, and I like getting to know the new freshmen each year. Another important difference is that there’s more freedom in high school. This includes the freedom to go off campus, which is especially nice if you have a car or a friend who can drive. There’s also more flexibility in the class schedule; I had no choice in what classes I would take in middle school, but as a senior, I chose almost all of the classes I’m taking. I really like having this flexibility, because it means I’m studying something I enjoy and find interesting, rather than something I’m required to take.
Why are you glad that you chose College Prep? Not only is College Prep academically rigorous, but the entire community is so supportive. The students are always collaborative and willing to help each other, and the teachers will always go out of their way to support students.
What advice do you have for 8th graders applying to high school? My advice is short, but important: don’t stress about it too much. No matter what, it’s going to be okay!
What campus activities are you involved in? I lead SEAT (the Student Equity Action Team) and GSA (Gender and Sexuality Awareness), which have been amazing opportunities for me to learn about equity and inclusion, meet people with similar interests, and develop my leadership skills. I’m also in Science Olympiad, which is so much fun. I’ve run cross country and played soccer since my freshman year.
What is your favorite College Prep memory?  I have so many good memories from College Prep, from meeting new friends to moments in class to sports events to spirit week to Intraterm and everything in between. I think one of my favorite memories was one time I asked my astronomy teacher to clarify some things he’d taught about our unit on cosmology. The curriculum had taken a bit longer than planned, so this teacher, Doc, went out of his way to record extra slideshows for us to watch, if we wanted to. I went up to his office because I had some questions, and we ended up talking after school for more than two hours. Doc was happy to help answer the questions I had, and he was also really excited to talk about cosmology! I count this as my “best College Prep memory” because I wasn’t at all surprised we talked for so long. I think it really exemplifies how much the teachers love what they do, and how much they love talking to us.
What is your favorite place on campus? The courtyard is my favorite spot on campus. I spend some of my free time there – in part because it’s convenient – and I like how the most central part of campus is so open and beautiful. I especially love it in the spring, when the wisteria blooms.
What has been your favorite class? I’ve had a lot of classes I’ve loved, but my absolute favorite has been freshman Physics. I really loved the content of that class, I felt like the way it was taught made sense, and I really enjoyed doing labs to prove that yes, what we talked about actually represented the real world. My teacher was wonderful (Doc is always willing to help, and he sometimes brought cereal!) and my classmates were always happy to help each other and work together to solve problems. That class made science my favorite subject, and has inspired me to take so many more classes I’ve loved, like astronomy and the internship-based STEM class.
What has been the best thing about College Prep? The people, hands down. I love the faculty so much; they’re always friendly, willing to help, and all-around great people to talk to. The other students are so amazing. They’re interesting and supportive and friendly, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many people here.
Who is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series? I’ve loved Hermione Granger since I first read the Harry Potter series. She’s incredibly intelligent and talented, and she’s brave enough to put those qualities to good use.
1. I enjoy reading nonfiction for fun (especially about space!).
2. I danced hula for six years in elementary school.
3. My family has three dogs, two cats, and four chickens.