They say that school is your home away from home, and I have never found truer sentiment in that statement other than when I reflect back on my time here at SAS. Before accepting the offer to come to the School For Advanced Studies I was scared, hesitant, and reluctant as to what my potential was. Upon spending 2 years here at SAS, I am proud to say that I have found a group of friends, mentors, and counselors that would help me get rid of those thoughts, and push me farther than I ever imagined I could go.
What stands out to me the most is how the School For Advanced Studies has helped me accomplish my goals and reach my dreams. I still have a vivid recollection of the day that I went to the SAS intake session; I had to fill out paperwork so that the school could get specific information on me as a student. I particularly remember a portion of the paper work that asked “Career goals” as well as “Universities you are considering”. I answered with what I knew my passions were: studying Chemistry or Law at the University Of Chicago. My timid self decided to put that down on the paper without hesitation. After 2 years of hard work and the opportunities SAS has provided me, I have reached the exact goal that I dreamt of as an incoming junior, and I could not have done it if I didn’t have the support of my friends and family; the friends and family which I have found by coming to SAS. So now when I looked back at that pink sheet of paper as a senior that my younger self filled out, it makes me really appreciate everything that everyone at SAS has done for me.
SAS represents more than just an academic opportunity to me. I feel glad each morning being able to walk into the school’s office and be greeted by my teachers and peers. It is a place where I have found more than opportunity, a home where I feel I belong. I rest assured knowing that I can talk to my counselors and teachers as more than just a student. They care about how I’m doing, and are willing to lend a hand whenever it may be needed. Alongside the supportive faculty, there is a student body that represents a wonderful mix of individuals. Intellectual, social, and fun are words that just begin to describe the type of students that SAS fosters.
There are countless times where I have laughed, sought out advice, worked on homework, all in the same day with different groups of friends. Friends that I am proud to say will remain in my heart for the rest of my life. Our school this year adopted the motto “It takes courage”, and while I do find that fitting for a school like ours, I’d like to believe that SAS does its best to ensure that every student realizes the courage they already have and how they can apply that to reach their goals. Plenty of people say that the sky is the limit, but as my calculus teacher Mrs. Cabañez once taught me, the limit does not exist. There is no limit to the amount of compassion, dedication, and rigor that I have encountered while here at SAS.
Looking back on everything now, I am beyond grateful that I accepted the offer to attend the School For Advanced Studies. I wouldn’t have chosen to spend my final 2 years of high school any other way.
School for Advanced Studies, Class of 2014
University of Chicago, Class of 2018