Posted: 13 May 2015 05:50 AM PDT
Dear Class of 2019,
Attending Obama Academy seemed like a great opportunity for me. Meaning that since a plethora of schools got closed down I could not go to my home school, which was Langley. So then my home school became Brashear and I did not want to go there and I also did not want to go to Alderdice. So then my parents starting looking into Obama and we found out that they have an IB program, and that attending Obama would be beneficial for me academically and as an athlete because I'm a good swimmer and I heard they had a good swim team. I expected high school to be somewhat like it is on TV. You get free periods, leave school for lunch, make a lot of friends, etc. Turns out you get half of those things; although it does meet some of my expectations, but it is also more classwork than I was used to. Prior to coming to Obama, I attended Pittsburgh Classical Academy, despite the fact that I was in advanced classes, I still did not get as much work as I do now. Then again that was middle school and it does not get easier as you go.
So far high school has been a good experience. I'm glad I chose CAS courses because it gave me a heads up for what to expect for the next three years of my life, then college… I'm also glad about this decision because it forces me to be serious about my work and try my best to stay on top of things. It also makes me realize that I should appreciate all of the people in my life trying to help me get a good education: my teachers, most definitely my parents, as well as my friends. ONLY you can decide who you choose to hang with; I chose a "clique" that I wanted to be in and that separates themselves from negative activity and they have their minds made up on making smart choices. They have good reputations and plan on keeping it that way; my friends too take CAS courses (advanced classes) to be in a classroom where we can focus on the content and instruction.
If I could change anything that I did it would more than likely be to stop procrastinating. Every time I have a project due within a month I still get it done the weekend prior to the due date. With that being said, I would try managing my time better. This year I was on the swim team and I tried softball, which was a total bust, but playing sports did not cloud my vision or distract me from my priorities. I also had free time and found myself busy on the weekends hanging with friends, but I still got assignments done; focusing is important because it is only going to get harder.
I would advise incoming freshmen to follow the same advise I'm giving myself: use your time wisely. Study as often as you can because it will certainly hurt your grades if you do not.
High school, at least form my experience, is a big shift from middle school. To some extent it depends on what middle school you attended because every curriculum can be different, but if you know what kind of student you are and you get all of your work done then your freshman year of high school will be a breeze. I wish all of the freshmen that may be reading this good luck, and I hope my advice can assist you in some way!