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Melissa Gerdts

CarterUnforgettable. Encouraging. Individualized. In college interviews they ask you to describe yourself in three words; but seeing as I would not be where I am right now without SAS, these three words are much more important because they define the reason for my success. School for Advanced Studies is a once in a lifetime experience, one that I will never forget.

Unforgettable- Many people think that coming to SAS won’t get you the “high school experience” but that could not be any farther from the truth. There’s an abundance of clubs, from Fashion Club to Robotics, which tailor to all of the needs and passions of the students. We even have a picnic at the end of the year to celebrate all of our hard work. For me, there is so much more to school than class time; school revolves around activities in the field, gossiping with teachers, and a crazy amount of laughs shared between friends.

Encouraging- I have never had such close relationships with all of the teachers, even the teachers I don’t have this year I know I can go to them for anything because that’s just how tight our community is. One of the best things about SAS is the people; everyone gets along with everyone. There is no discrimination and outcasts among the student body; as quirky as you think you are, you will be able to find your perfect niche. Some of the things I know will follow me anywhere I go are the friendships I made here; I have found like-minded people that push me to do my best but also remind me to enjoy the small moments we share together.

Individualized- At my previous school, you didn’t have a voice. Students did not really have the freedom to choose their classes nor did we have the opportunity to take higher-level classes if we so desired. That all changed once I came to SAS. I was pushed to my limits and I loved every minute of it. The classes are academically challenging but the teachers make it possible for everyone to pass. Not only did I have to take my AP classes, but I also had so much more freedom when picking my college classes than I ever thought possible. I took both a Criminal Law and an Abnormal Psychology class that focused on two completely different topics but that interested me immensely. Definitely a highlight of my experience.

I love SAS. Here, no one ever feels left out and that’s because everyone is made to feel like they belong. Because of this, I feel immense pride and joy in calling myself a White Tiger :) #ForeverSAS

Melissa Gerdts
School for Advanced Studies, Class of 2015
Duke University, Class of 2018

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