Seniors of CPS: Elsa O, Aditi M, Vincent C, Ruby W, Adina S, Claire W-B
(from left to right, top row to bottom) Elsa O, Aditi M, Vincent C, Ruby W, Adina S, Claire W-B - Interviews Conducted by Anna C, Phoebe S, Celia L D, and Nora W
This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed seven lovely seniors— Elsa, Aditi, Vincent, Ruby, Adina, and Claire — for our seventh 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?
Elsa: I am a huge Star Wars fan. I think people started finding that out in the end, but yeah. If you look right now, probably like 4 feet away from me, I have a nice comic book collection that I’ve been working on for years. And I kinda do wish that I had let that part of myself out, but I guess in high school everyone keeps part of themselves private, but I guess we can all just keep it real! That’s the best way to do high school.
Aditi: This isn’t particularly a fun fact, but maybe it’ll be interesting? I actually had to learn how to walk twice— I had already learned how to walk when I was a baby, but then I was hospitalized, so after I recovered and came back home, I had forgotten how to walk! So I had to learn again.
Vincent: I think most of my classmates know that I play the bassoon. I’ve played it at CPS in a number of performances, so I’m sure a ton of people have seen me doing that. Maybe something that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I only moved to San Francisco in seventh grade. I lived in Hong Kong for two years before that, and Minnesota for ten years before that.
Ruby: I don’t feel like there’s much my classmates don’t know...well, I’m really solid at making friendship bracelets. In general, I guess I always just pick up a lot of little habits. I like being artistic, but I don’t excel at one specific art, so I pick up a lot of small things. I have a bunch of craft stuff, beads and stuff for making bracelets. I also made these chain bracelets recently— I made these in one night, but then got bored. I’m also trying to learn to play the guitar, and not doing well at it. I’m probably going to give up on it pretty soon. It’s just very fun for me to try out new things.
Adina: A couple of weeks ago, for my friend’s birthday, she had us go to Taco Bell. None of us had ever been before. I was super surprised, because I really, really liked it, and my parents generally don’t let me eat fast food, so I’d never gotten the chance before. Now I’ve been, like, four times since then. I actually went last night with my dad. He was talking about how he was in highschool— and he went to CPS too, so this is especially funny— after spending a long time studying or something like that, he would just go and buy a bag of burritos from Taco Bell. I was kind of disappointed that he had never done that with me, but that’s okay. We still have a fourth of the year left!
Claire: I have over 250 Spotify playlists. Here, let me check the exact number. Oh, I actually have 260— so, I have 260 Spotify playlists.
Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?
Elsa: This might not be the best word but… in good, bad, and neutral ways… chaotic? I think I can say that, right? Like, starting off, I didn’t have an easy start, then sophomore year, I had some shuffling around. Junior year was college, Covid, and then senior year… college, Covid! So definitely chaotic, yeah.
Aditi: I think it would be rewarding. It’s a bit hard just to pick one word, but I think that works.
Vincent: That’s a tough one. I would say shaping or formative. I could definitely use a lot of words to describe my experience, so it’s hard to put it into one.
Ruby: Probably growth. I feel like I’ve just grown a lot— in so many different ways. I’ve also seen the people around me grow, and learned a lot in general. Not just academically, but through the people I’ve met as well.
Adina: Definitely transformative.
Claire: That’s a really hard one, I don’t know if there’s necessarily a single word that encapsulates everything. I mean, I guess if I had to pick a single word, it would probably be multifaceted. I think there’s been so many different parts of College Prep. CPS definitely has a reputation (and I can see why they have the reputation) for being super academic. I feel like throughout high school, I spent a lot of time really looking for opportunities to do things that weren’t as focused on school or grades. By doing that, I had so many different experiences, that it pretty much sums up my highschool experience just as much as the academic stuff does. With sports, and debate, and friends, and other school stuff, it’s been a very fulfilling high school experience.
Q: How would you describe your four years at College Prep and the people that you spent those four years with?
Elsa: This is sort of a basic word, but I think interesting would be the best way to describe it, because you’re introduced to a lot of new lifestyles, a lot of new perspectives, and in the academic sense, a lot of new information. And you kind of find out who you are through all of that, because when you go into high school, you think you know everything, but frankly, you’re a little bit of an idiot? A nice idiot. But you just really end up finding yourself at College Prep through all of these experiences, and even if you don’t really know what you want to do in college, you kind of have a better sense of direction and how to get about life. Or atleast, what is direction, and get to that position of, “This is what I want to do in life, and this is how I’m going to do it… yes.”
Aditi: Even though there was a lot of work, I think overall I had such a great experience because of everyone that I met and because CPS is such a welcoming community. It was definitely a really memorable time.
Vincent: I think CPS is a really unique community, probably one that you wouldn’t find at a lot of high schools. Just kind of based on the values, maintaining that community is important because I know CPS puts a lot of effort to maintain the community. I would describe my overall experience as definitely positive, and definitely something that I would recommend to someone looking at CPS.
Ruby: Well...definitely an experience! I always think back to the song “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande. It has this one part that goes, “one taught me love, one taught me patience, and one taught me pain.” I always thought of that as relating to the three schools I’ve gone to. Elementary school taught me love, because all the people were very sweet, and I kind of discovered what friendship was. Middle school taught me patience, because I definitely had to have a lot of patience to get through certain things. I was not patient before, and I am more so now. And then CPS taught me pain, because I feel like there’s been a lot of hard times, but I’ve grown through them. I’ve learned how to handle a lot more than I could before. That sounds negative, but I really don’t mean it in a bad way.
Adina: I learned a lot about myself over the past four years. Who I am as a person, and who I want to be. My friends have been with me through almost all of it, and I’m super grateful for them and their support. I would thank everyone for helping me become the person that I am.
Claire: As far as the people go, I think it’s interesting— some people keep the exact same friends all throughout high school. Like, they find their people their first year, and they’re completely good. They meet new people throughout it, but their core people remain the same. I have some friends who have done that, but I was just not one of those people. For me, I’ve had all sorts of different friends; I’ve been closer to some people, and then closer to other people. I’ve had a really good experience with the wide variety of people in different grades, and everyone else that I’ve hung out with over the past four years. I think knowing so many people made it all the more fun. I don’t know if there’s a single way I can describe that, but I think the past four years, with all the different people I’ve been with at different times, have definitely been very fun.