(from left to right, top row to bottom) Trisha Badjatia, Neel Valeti, Zachary Kobban, Edgar Carvalho - Interviews Conducted by Anna Chard, Phoebe Shin, Celia Lehmann Duke, and Nora Wagner
This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed four lovely seniors— Trisha, Neel, Zachary, Edgar — for our fourteenth week of Seniors of CPS interviews. Some were interviewed in sunny living rooms, others in quiet bedrooms, or even at school! 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?
Trisha: I’m afraid of heights but I really like ziplining. Actually no, that's not very interesting. Well, okay— I really like MMA, which is going to sound really violent, but I really like it. And I used to do martial arts from a really young age. Now I’m not very good at it, but yeah, I used to really like grappling and stuff, and that sounds really weird, but it was fun. My friend in the class and I would goof off and do stupid stuff and try to wrestle each other and go too full out, and that was just really fun.
Neel: When I was younger, I really wanted to be a professional cricket player. I think it was around third grade that my dad was watching the Cricket World Cup, and I just started watching it with him as well. We watched India go from the start of the tournament to the finals—they actually won it, so that was really awesome! I got very into it after that. I would play with my dad everyday afterschool. I remember he actually ended up painting a wicket on our garage door. We’d play outside during the summer and in the basement during the winter. Even though it’s not my “dream” anymore, I still look back at it pretty fondly.
Zachary: I like to cook a lot. I guess that’s something a lot of people have taken up during quarantine, but I’ve gotten pretty into it recently.
Edgar: I’m actually kind of like Pitbull because I’m sort of Mr. Worldwide; my family is from everywhere in the world—Belgium, France, Denmark, Italy, Spain—and it goes on and on and on, so that’s why I have five last names!
Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?
Trisha: Finding myself.
Neel: Let’s see… I think growth.
Zachary: I think interesting is a pretty funny word to choose, so I’ll do that— interesting because I had an experience like none other. No one else has really experienced a pandemic through the two most important years of their high school career in the same way our grade has.
Edgar: I would say unconventional and organic, because six years ago I took a picture, and I had my hair bleached, and I really felt unconventional and organic, and right now I’m feeling the same feeling I was feeling at that moment.
Q: How would you describe your four years at College Prep and the people that you spent those four years with?
Trisha: Finding myself sounds really cheesy, but I think in middle school I didn’t have a lot of avenues for self expression or I just didn’t really explore different parts of my identity. Then when I came here, I started realizing different things about myself, like whether it be I’m South Asian or I’m queer or who knows what my gender is, I don’t know, at least I got the chance to think about it here. I also feel like I’ve made a lot of friendships I really care about and connected with teachers I really care about, so I guess those friendships are also a part of myself.
Neel: I definitely really enjoyed my four years. I’ve seen myself grow a lot as a person, and a lot of that is due to the different interactions I’ve been able to have with teachers and classmates. When I look back at that, I’m incredibly appreciative. In five, ten years from now, when I’m remembering my days at College Prep, I won’t think about all the homework I had. I’ll just remember all the wonderful interactions I’ve had and all the people I’ve met.
Zachary: I guess I would describe my four years at college prep as a learning experience. I don’t think I went into it thinking of it that way, but you change as a person for sure. A lot of us, in our grade especially, have changed throughout our four years at CPS, so yeah… I would just say that I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve formed different friendships than I thought I would.
Edgar: My time at College Prep was unexpected… I didn’t even plan on going to CPS! I didn’t plan on getting in, I didn’t plan on attending, I didn’t plan on any of it. I didn’t even plan on applying! So yes, unexpected, and the people were very passionate.