Name: Quinn
Graduation Year: 2021
Middle School:  Bentley
Hometown: Oakland
What's the biggest difference between middle school and high school? The biggest difference is how much freedom you have, both in school and outside of it. It sounds nice - and it is - but more freedom also means more expectations, which is why it's a little bit of a double-edged sword.
Why are you glad that you chose College Prep? To be honest, I really wasn't sure what I was looking for when I was applying to high school. As I went from campus to campus, I kept waiting for that gut feeling, the one that would tell me "this is the one." But I never got it, not even when I toured at College Prep. I think it's easy to get overwhelmed when making big decisions - but a lot of decision making is just rolling the dice, and recognizing that at the end of the day no one school is going to be perfect. It just comes down to what you think matters most to you, and what you're willing to compromise on. I'm very glad now that I chose to roll the dice on College Prep. I wanted a school that would challenge me academically - and it certainly has done that - but it also has provided me with a fantastic community of people, something I didn't realize was so important until I found it.
What advice do you have for 8th graders applying to high school? You're going to have a good experience no matter where you go, and there'll be people at every school that you're going to be able to make friends with. Remember that nothing is guaranteed or promised, no matter where you end up.
What campus activities are you involved in? I play soccer and volleyball, and I'm the co-leader of the club S.W.I.R.L (students with inter-racial lives). This year I'll also be a Writing Coach, and I was recently elected to be a junior class representative.  I’m also taking part in a really cool class this year called STOak, which is short for Social Transformation Oakland. We focus on issues around social justice and inequality, especially as they relate to our broader Oakland community. 
What is your favorite College Prep memory? My favorite memory is from last year, when I was doing a project for art class. Our assignment was to do a plein air drawing, so I had situated myself outside. It was a cloudy day, but I remember feeling at peace, and content. It was the beginning of the year, so there were no major assignments hanging over my head. It was just me, my brush, and the paper. One thing that I've always appreciated about College Prep is that no matter how stressful my day is, there are always moments like that: tiny pockets of rest where you can find your own peace, even if just for a few moments.
What is your favorite place on campus? The art room. It has really big windows that let in the sunlight, and since it's high above the ground it can feel like you're in a treehouse.
What has been your favorite class? I've always loved reading, but the English classes here have taught me how to read in a completely different way. Before high school, I read books passively, always taking the words at face value. I never searched for a hidden meaning, or a deeper layer. Now when I read, I almost feel like I'm going on a scavenger hunt. There are so many hidden clues in books that I never noticed before, like how the author choosing one particular word over another changes the meaning of a sentence entirely. The English classes here have pushed me to become a better reader and a better writer. And in doing so, have changed the way I interact with language and words entirely.
What has been the best thing about College Prep? The community. Just touring campuses and going to open houses, it can be pretty difficult to get a sense of what a school community is like. That's part of what makes the high school application process so hard - no matter how much information you get, you'll never really know what it's like to go to school somewhere until you start going there yourself. I wish someone had told me how many amazing people I was going to meet by going here, and how supportive everyone is of each other.
Who is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series? I bet a lot of people are going to say this, but my favorite character is Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Hermione taught me that there's so much power in learning, and in the possession of knowledge. A lot of female protagonists that I read about growing up prevailed because of their kindness, or the goodness of their heart or something equally benign. Those are certainly important qualities, but what I like most about Hermione is that she was never sweet or docile. She never waited to be saved, or held her tongue. She always stood up for what was right, even when others told her she was wrong.
1. I absolutely hate butterflies.
2.  Milk is my favorite drink of all time.
3. I'm slightly scared of whales.