The proudest moment in my high school career is when I signed myself to take my first AP class. I was really nervous about going to the meeting to sign myself up to get the summer assignment because I felt that I was not ready for the work load, and I would not be able to pass the class. My excuse for not going to the meeting was that I was helping in the cafeteria and I was going to be really late, but when I told my two best friends Jenny and Virginia that I wasn’t going to take it anymore.
They got so frustrated and annoyed with me because they said I was stupid if I didn’t take AP calculus because that was my favorite subject and I needed a challenge in that class. They also made me remember when I would tell them that Math Analysis was too easy for me, but a lot of people were having a hard time with that class. When they finally convince me to go, I had to talk to Mr. Ewart alone about the class and the workload because the meeting was over when I got there.
One thing I remember the most about one on one talk with Ewart was that he told me to take the class and not be afraid of taking challenges, especially if they could help with my education in high school and college. Taking this class has made me realize that I was that student that would never study for any of the classes because I thought that I could pass the test without refreshing on the material. Boy was I wrong when it came to taking a test in AP Calculus, studying alone and in study groups is the best way to get a better score the first time.
There was a derivative test, which was graded as the real AP Test, and I got a three out of five, which made me feel that I can actually pass the class and gave me confidence in myself again. I knew that if I try hard then I can actually solve the problems on my own, but all I had to do was work twice as hard as I did in any other class. AP Calculus is also teaching me to how to manage my time because calculus is a very time consuming class, depending on the difficulty of the work. It can take more than an hour to get the homework assignment completed.
The workload of the class has become a lot more time consuming when the date is getting super close to the real AP Calculus Exam. This has helped me have college and career readiness because I have learned that if I want to pass the class and the test, I have to stay home a lot during the weekends to get the assignments done, which was real hard for me to do because I like to go out and party during the weekends. Also, I learned to take advantage of all the study opportunities given. This is a good lesson ecause the teachers here baby us even though we don’t want to admit it and in college I know that the professors are not going to care if you did the work or not. During all of my four years of high school, I was in the H. O. P. E. Club, which has taught me a lot of different skills, but the biggest skill that I feel most affected me in learning is taking action. Every year in H. O. P. E. we would decide to raise money and awareness for a different cause. My freshman year we decided to buy life straws for people in need in different countries.
We got to witness how the life straws works by putting a lot of dirty water in a container and the drinking it with the life straw. During my sophomore year we decide to get a hydration station for the elementary and middle school kids. I really loved this experience because I still remember how excited the kids were to get their turn on filling up their canteens. It felt really good being able to educate the kids about recycling and using canteens instead of water bottles, so they use less plastic bottles. During junior year we raised money to help give a jungle gym to G3.
This year we decided that we wanted to give money to make a well for people that have to walk miles just to get fresh water. The H. O. P. E. Club has really helped me learn that anyone can take action on problems in the world that are big or small. We just have to dedicate time and effort to get things done. The thing that has impacted me the most during high school was the LGBTQ Field Trip, which made me look at the whole thing in a new perspective because my family was against the LGBTQ community and I have a cousin that came out to our family saying he is gay.
I wanted to know more about the community and how I can support my cousin because I knew that a lot of my family members didn’t agree with it. My family taught us that being LGBTQ was wrong and that we should not talk to “them”. This field trip taught me way more than just the basic straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning. Before I went I just thought that these were the only ways that people would identify themselves. To my surprise there are a lot more ways that you can identify yourself and there is a lot more that are still beginning to be known.
This also opened my eyes in seeing that nothing is wrong with being LGBTQ and we all just need to be more understanding because at the end of the day we are all still humans. This field trip also made me think about how religion is against the LGBTQ community. So my group and I decided that we want to do this topic for the civil rights project for English and history. This project made me recognize the perspectives of not only my group members, but also the priests in Catholic Churches around our community.
One of the priests told our group that he supports the LGBTQ community and hopes one day the Catholic Church can support the community as well. After hearing what the priest had to say about the issue. I realized that I was wrong about all priests being against the LGBTQ community. There is priest out there in the world that believes being in the LGBTQ community is okay. The issue is that it’s not as easy for the whole Catholic Church to be okay with it because this religion is not just in the United States, but in other countries too.
This project has open my eyes and gave me a new perspective of not just only about what an LGBTQ person has to deal with, but also not all priests are against someone for being LGBTQ. Another thing I learned is that I should not judge someone by their beliefs because they might not agree with it hundred percent of the time. I learned that I needed to get to know people before I start saying that they’re a certain way or they support something. I have also grown in skills for success because in my biology class we did a project called Genetics Debate Project.
In the beginning no one had an idea on which side we were going to be in the debate on the topic, which I got was Stem Cell Research and after researching both sides and learning the pro and cons about Stem Cell Research. My group was given the pro side, which means that I was supporting doing more research on stem cells and learning how they work. I was actually really excited because when we were researching both sides, I was agreeing more with the pro side.
This project showed me that it does not matter, if I never heard about the topic, I just need to research. The more I did research on stem cells the more I would understand my topic and the project. This was the first time I had a project where I have learn the material on my own and have a real debate in front of the whole class. I feel that this taught me that I have the potential to learn materials on my own. This project made me learn skills for success because in college the professors do not babysit you or make sure you do your work.
The professors have so many students that they don’t make sure that every student understands the material. One of the most challenging things during high school so far is the research paper that every senior had to do for Burnett’s and Defranco’s class, but this has also been very surprising to me because I never knew I was going to enjoy this essay as much as I did. The reason I enjoyed writing the paper is because I got to choose a policy that I was really interested, which was should law enforcement officers use body-mounted cameras.
I choose to write about this policy because I wanted to show that law enforcement officers are not always the bad people as it’s made on the news. They made me feel safer when I was little because there was a lot of drive-bys in my neighborhood. This was the main reason I wanted to learn more about what officers do, and by doing this research paper it became clear to me that I wanted to be work in that career field. By doing this research paper I have communicated ideas of both sides of the argument on whether officers should use body-mounted cameras or not.
This paper has also let me communicate my own ideas on why officers should use the body-mounted cameras without using first person and using quotes from experts on the topic to support my ideas and thesis. This essay has taught me that having a lot of information on a topic can really help get my opinions or ideas out to people. Now, the advice I have for the underclassmen is passing all of your classes, the first time you take them because trust me, you don’t want to waste more time on classes that you hate or is difficult for you.
The most important way to make sure to you pass your classes is just turn in all assignments fully complete because retaking the class is annoying and very time consuming. Also, if you have to retake a class, don’t wait until senior year to make up the classes because as a senior, I know how it gets super busy and you’re barely going have any time for yourself and your going to regett not taking the classes during sophomore or junior year.
The advice I have the faculty and staff is to not make us line up in the morning if we are tardy because it just makes us even tardier to our advisory and adds more minutes. As a senior, I learned how important a couple minutes could be from getting truancy and getting activities taken away. Thank you for your time and patience while I shared my journey through high school and I hope all of you guys enjoy it as much as I did.