Dec 9th, 2016
Category: Civic Engagement
Many students plan for their senior year of high school to be laid back, so they can just coast into college. However, I made the decision for my senior year at Churchill to be a continuation of hard classes with high expectations. I am no stranger to Advanced Placement classes, so I knew what I was signing myself up for last year. While many of my peers are taking only what is required of them then taking senior release to end their day early, I am still hard at work in many of my classes.
My day begins late each day at 9:35 because I chose to have late arrival as sort of a study period so that I have time to finish homework and prepare for tests. My first class of the day is AP Calculus based Physics: Mechanics. This class is my favorite class of the day and my hardest. My friends call me crazy for skipping a year of physics, but I am quite enjoying the challenge. I plan on majoring in engineering when I go off to college so I figured I may as well try and get some credit out of the way.
Following Physics, I have PALS. For those who do not know what PALS is, it is a volunteer-oriented organization which aims to assist peers and younger students. During my PALS period, I head to a nearby elementary school and spend time with three students (one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday). Generally I get to spend around thirty minutes with them, getting to know them, doing activities, and helping them with any issues that they may be facing. Being a PAL is an amazing experience, especially seeing the impact that I can have on one younger student just by showing that I care.
After PALS, I have lunch, then AP Statistics. Statistics is an interesting class, but it has its moments of being tough. Following Stats, I have AP Calculus BC, which is a continuation of Calculus AB, a class I took last year. I do have a particular fondness for math, so while this class is challenging to many others, I find it fairly easy. I enjoy BC because it dives further in depth than AB, and I get to learn why we do what we’re doing. My next class is AP Economics, and I finish the day with AP GT English IV. Although English has never been quite my strong suit, I am really enjoying this class despite the heavy workload.
National Honor Society meetings are commonplace after school, but more often than not they are officer meetings. At Churchill I am Vice President of our NHS chapter, which means I am in charge of finding service opportunities, making executive decisions, and running elections for the next year of officers. I also participate in Chargers for Christ, which is a bible study group that meets weekly at my school, and I am a member of the San Antonio Youth Commission representing District 9.
With my heavy workload from my classes and involvement in other organizations, it makes it easy for my to feel overwhelmed and regret my decision to make my senior year hard. Yet, I don’t let it get me down because it is rewarding to see the impact I have on my community around me from my involvement. I continue to work hard in my classes so I can do well on my AP exams, and hopefully earn more college credits so that I can save money and possibly graduate college early.
I’ve learned that even though school may seem difficult and that there is such a thing as being over involved, you can find motivation in what you are doing and in those around you.
Blake Aldrich is a senior at Winston Churchill High School. He is undecided on which university he will attend, and he plans on majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Blake represents district 9 on the San Antonio Youth Commission, a civic engagement platform for San Antonio High School students, managed by the P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County.