This month, beginning with National Charter Schools Week, we will feature stories from charter school graduates from across the country. Check back every day to see a new student feature in our 30 Days of Grad series.
Deciding which path you wish to pursue for the rest of your life can be extremely overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared to figure it out. I am currently a senior at Sussex Academy High School (SAHS) in Delaware, and the past four years have been challenging. My graduating class is the very first class to graduate from this school, so we have been a part of many firsts: from the first high school dance, to the first Student Government Association, and even the first year of becoming an International Baccalaureate school. Needless to say, my unique experience in high school has paved the way for the numerous expectations that I have for myself in regard to my future. Without the immense amount of encouragement and resources provided to my classmates and me, I would not feel as prepared for the future as I do.
I have chosen to continue my educational career at the University of Delaware, studying either Neuroscience or Biological Sciences on the pre-med track. Eventually, I plan to attend medical school to become a surgeon. Right now it is difficult to picture myself dressed in scrubs standing above an operating table, but thanks to the many opportunities that I have been exposed to, such as volunteering at the local hospital, I know exactly what I need to do to accomplish such a goal.
Our school's motto is to "Explore, Experience, and Excel," and I think this idea has inspired and fostered my ambition and curiosity through our school environment and the opportunities that have been presented to me as a result. The small school environment helped my classmates and I build strong relationships with our teachers, create new student organizations (like Student Government), and gave us opportunities for field work outside of the classroom. By creating student organizations and having the ability to expand our learning environment to places like Colonial Williamsburg, I have learned how to pursue my interests independently and with the help of my classmates. Participating in the IB program, where academic expectations are high and involvement in community service is required, has forced me to be open minded and take risks.
I think one of the most relevant lessons that I have learned throughout my time at SAHS is that any plan I might create is not definite. Participating in the IB program and simply attending a brand new school has demonstrated to me that plans may fail or need to change. Whether it was hosting an unsuccessful fundraiser for a school dance or attempting to establish new school rules, these past four years have been filled with trial and error. However, I have come away from high school with an ability to get creative and find unprecedented solutions to solve a problem. This skill, in addition to many that I have gained at SAHS, will help guide my plans for the future.