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Seniors of CPS (2/20): Andreas M., Asa S., Ava M., Beckett S., Katie C., Charles B., Cole G.

(from left to right, top row to bottom) Andreas Molnar, Asa Schiller, Ava Moudi, Beckett Schafer, Katie Chan, Charles Bullock, Cole Griscavage - Interviews Conducted by Anna Chard, Phoebe Shin, Celia Lehmann Duke, and Nora Wagner

This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed seven lovely seniors— Andreas, Asa, Ava, Beckett, Katie, Charles, and Cole— for our fourth week of Seniors of CPS interviews. Some were interviewed in quiet bedrooms or sunny kitchens, while others were interviewed on Campus! These interviews include responses to various questions designed to help you get to know our seniors a bit better and to give you some insight into their memories from the past four years at College Prep. We hope you enjoy!

Q: What is something unique about you/a fun fact that your classmates might not know?

Andreas: This isn’t super unique, but I’m a huge piano player— I spend a lot of my time playing, and I love it. I play a lot of classical music, or soundtracks that I really like, from movies, or games, or tv shows, and it’s a really great procrastinator. I don’t actually know if people know this— maybe people do, or maybe they don’t, but I think that’s what came to mind.

Asa: My classmates know everything about me! Everyone already knows I’m left handed… everyone knows I play piano. It’s such an interesting question, because it’s more of a question about the perception from the people around me, than it is a question about myself. Well, I think a fair amount of people know this, but I actually have a heart condition. I guess that counts as a ‘fun little fact.’

Ava: I really enjoy watching international movies and tv shows in foreign languages— that’s just what I love to do and how I relax. A couple months ago I finished Dark, which is this German show on Netflix, and that was really good, and there’s also a couple of Brazilian shows that are also really good and are on Netflix. But I think my favorite genre has to be Korean and Chinese dramas— I don’t think many people know this. But it’s kind of a bad habit, because I watch them so often since they’re so addicting, and they take up so much time. What I love about watching Chinese dramas is that I take Chinese, so I can sometimes understand what they’re saying, and I get to improve my own language skills by watching them. I also just started trying to learn Korean on my own, since I’ve seen so many K-dramas, so I thought, “why don’t I just try to learn the language?” I’ve definitely picked up a couple of phrases so far.

Beckett: Well, fun fact— I’m into meditating and I have a mindfulness routine for everyday.

Katie: My family is from North Korea, which is a pretty fun fact. Not necessarily my story, but I feel like that’s the coolest thing I have, although it is their story. I also have a birthmark in my eye, which is fun, but a little creepy.

Charles: I play a lot of sports, but the majority of my time is spent focusing on my piano skills. I play like one hour a day, and it’s just something that gets me relaxed and kind of gets my mind off anything school related.

Cole: What would they not know? My heritage goes back to Jamaica! That could be cool to share. Also, I’m really bad at Spanish, but maybe you don’t want to put that in there (oops).

Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?

Andreas: I would say… fulfilling.

Asa: Ooh… I definitely wouldn’t have said this before this year, but unpredictable. Actually, I think that fits all four years. I’ve definitely switched it up a lot while at this school. So yeah, unpredictable.

Ava: I guess it would be transformative? Yeah, that seems right.

Beckett: I mean you could say challenging, but I think a word that sums up everything is probably exploration.

Katie: It’s hard to describe in a word because I feel like it was so busy, like there was constantly so much going on, so it’s hard to step back and think of a word to encapsulate it all. I think it was transformative for me and a lot of people, because you grow a lot through high school, and especially at CPS, as a student, but also as a person. I think people came from more sheltered middle schools with experiences where they didn’t know a lot about the world and being able to open your eyes at CPS I think changes a lot of people, as well as just growing up.

Charles: I think I got the most out of it, I don’t know how to put that in one word.

Cole: I think I would say— well, it’s two words— but I was going to say personal growth. I feel like I really matured as a person throughout CPS. Maybe my word is independence? I don’t know. I learned how to be really independent and how to fend for myself a little bit. I guess that would work. Throughout these last four years, I’ve really learned how to take care of myself.

Q: How would you describe your four years at College Prep and the people that you spent those four years with?

Andreas: I think I’ve just become a lot more grounded, in terms of how I think about the world and how I like to think about my life, and I think I owe a lot of that to my classmates. And I think at times, it can be really academically tough here, but I’m really glad that I’ve been able to strike a balance between my own life and all the work. I think being on sports teams and hanging out with people, doing work during free periods, it’s just all had a huge impression on me. All the people I’ve met, all the people I’ve talked to, and all my friends— it’s hard to describe, but it’s been super awesome and I will miss the school for sure.

Asa: I mean, what comes to mind is wonderful. I met so many fantastic people, both students and teachers. I feel like a completely different person now than going in.

Ava: Going off of transformative… I feel like coming in as a freshman, I was super nervous to meet everyone, especially during freshman retreat— I was literally shaking on my way to freshman retreat! But I guess overtime, as I got to meet new people through sports and my classes, and other activities, I definitely learned how special everyone is in their own ways, so it was really fun to get to know all these different people. At some points, school was pretty stressful academically, but I think looking back I’m really grateful for that, because I learned a lot of time management skills. So overall, I would definitely say that I enjoyed my time here at College Prep.

Beckett: Well, I recognize that it’s a super unique experience. It was very humbling entering CPS. It’s a small school, but at the time when I entered, it was bigger than my middle school, so it was nice to meet so many new faces. I think one thing that really stands out about CPS is that everyone has their passions. Especially for academics, but it’s worth mentioning that people are also incredibly passionate about social activism, as well as extracurriculars. My general experience at CPS has been pretty rewarding— obviously, we had unfortunate events happen for the past two years. But, oh well, what can you do. I still hope that I learned more at CPS than I would’ve anywhere else. I think that’s probably one of the best things about CPS, that you know you’re going to learn a lot.

Katie: My time at CPS has been very fun. I like going to school, and I think the biggest part of that is my friends and our grade. The students are what make it fun to be there, and why people want to go to school. Whenever I think about my highlights of high school, they are always about the people I was with, and a lot of that, even if it was like bad things were going on at the time, if I look back, I don’t remember the bad things, or how stressed or upset we were about something, I just remember how nice it was to all be together.

Charles: I met some people that I’m going to keep as lifelong friends and that I thought were really similar to me, and my hobbies and beliefs. A lot of my friends definitely helped support me, and I also gave that support back. I don’t know, everyone is just willing to help you.

Cole: I would say that I’ve really grown as a person at CPS. I’ve learned the importance of a diverse mindset and of a growth mindset, and I’ve understood the need to be willing to work hard at something even when you're struggling. I’ve learned to think more broadly when looking for solutions to problems, to be willing to think a little bit outside the box. And another thing I really learned at CPS is how to not be afraid to ask other people for help. Coming into CPS, I had trouble asking people for help when I really needed it; I’ve just learned that asking for help is always a great way to do better. The people at CPS have been supportive. They’re smart, but I feel like that goes without saying. I think they’re interested in the world around them, beyond their academic endeavors. People care a lot about the community: that could be the city; that could be the school community; that could be the country; it could be the world. I feel like people are really engaged in broader disciplines outside of just academics at CPS.

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