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Arselyne Chery

Arselyne Chery

My first encounter regarding SAS was from one of my closet friends who at the time was a grade ahead of me and was planning on transferring to SAS. He would make jokes every now and then about the fact that I always "followed" him to every school he went to and said that it was only bound to happen again. But of course, I told him that things were different now, and that I was perfectly fine at the high school that I was at. Fast forward to tenth grade year, my mother informs me that her boss, a mother of two—and in less than a month, three—SAS legacies, recommended that I apply to SAS for her daughter was as well, and in less than a week's time, I got an invitation to attend a SAS information session. It didn't take long for my mother to be fully convinced that this school was a perfect change for me; emphasis on my mother.

Yes, it's true that my first thought about going to SAS was not a positive one, and to be honest, that's the beginning of the story for many SAS students who were influenced to attend. However, it is not the end of the story. Having spent two whole years here, I have realized that coming to the School for Advanced Studies has greatly impacted my life.

As you know, attending this type of institution comes with a truckload of responsibility. You must know how to manage AP classes and sometimes even harder college level courses while still giving a hundred percent of your heart to your extracurricular activities. It will be hard, trust me. But it's better to learn how to deal with this amount of work now instead of suffering to do so later once you enter a college or university full time. Nevertheless, it would be dishonest of me to say that SAS was a horrible experience. It's not. You will have moments where things don't go the way you planned it. Yes, that is inevitable. However, there will be many rewarding moments that come after those failures that will help you keep going and to remind yourself that you are never alone. There will always be others who are losing and gaining right along with you. In fact, that is what I believe makes SAS truly a special place: its growing sense of family.

There are teachers, counselors, advisers, secretaries, and other administrators who care about your day and who will make the effort to be there for you during the good and bad times. There are students, diverse in race, ethnicity, and personality, who want to share laughs with you and will definitely offer a shoulder to cry on as well as their ears to listen to you. This essential aspect of SAS is what has helped mold me to become the strong but humble woman I am today. I have overcome so much not just in my academic life but also in my own private life because of the support of my SAS family. I can't remember the last period of my life in which I felt like I had so many mothers and fathers who were watching over me and putting me in line whenever I messed up. So, I will forever be grateful for their times of advice, unconditional love, and humorous quirkiness.

Therefore, if you are still deciding on whether you should attend SAS, I'd say just take a chance because that is what I had to do; and at the end—which is the same ending of my fellow classmates' stories—I reached my full potential and became successful. And after God, I owe that success to SAS.

Arselyne Chery
SAS North Campus, Class of 2017
Williams College, Class of 2021

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