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Seniors of CPS: Quinn N, Abram M, Sonia S, Pablo C, Hamed H, Adya G

(from left to right, top row to bottom) Quinn N, Abram M, Sonia S, Pablo C, Hamed H, and Adya G - Interviews Conducted by Anna C, Phoebe S, Celia L-D, and Nora W

This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed six lovely seniors— Quinn, Abram, Sonia, Pablo, Hamed, and Adya— for our sixth 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?

Quinn: I don’t know… I like drawing, I like reading… but I feel like there’s not a lot of stuff that I haven’t told people about. I actually got this question for a college interview, and I totally panicked, so I was just like, “Well, I’ve had eye surgery?” So that might be something that maybe people don’t know. I’m super nearsighted, and I had a tear in my retina, and they had to go in with a laser and give me a shot in my eye. They put in numbing drops though, so I could watch the needle go into my eye, but I couldn’t feel it! *laughs* That’s something.

Abram: I really enjoy playing water polo. I mean, I’m not the greatest swimmer, like, gosh, you wouldn’t want to see me doing backstroke, I would hit the lane lines so quickly! But I love playing water polo. At first, when I was a kid, I used to really hate it, because you’d just be swimming back and forth, which was just super painful, like, “Can we just play?” But once we actually got to play in tournaments, it was so much fun. I remember I was goalie once, because even though I’m not the best swimmer, I have a pretty good sense of pinpointing where I can throw. I had such a blast, and I think we even won a couple of games. And I don’t even know if people know that I used to swim and stuff, so I guess that’s my fun fact! I haven’t done it in… about 5 years? It’s definitely been a while.

Sonia: This one’s a little hard, because I feel like most of my classmates know a lot about me. But I think one thing is that I spend a lot of time watching documentaries. Especially over quarantine last summer, because we were just home a lot. So, I watched a lot of documentaries, almost exclusively about ancient history. I’m really into that. I used to keep a Google Doc with all the names of the ones I’d seen, and the last time I checked, it had hundreds on it.

Pablo: I play a regional Mexican instrument called the jarana, and I’ve been playing it since I was 10 or 11. I go to a music center for it, and I’ve made tons of friends, so it’s just a nice community where we can all get together and play music and sing. It’s definitely something I would like to focus on in the future as well.

Hamed: I think I could say that English is not my first language. It feels like it is at this point, but it was not originally. I was born in Iran, so I started in Farsi and only started learning English when I moved here when I was four or five.

Adya: I think something that quarantine made me get into is making earrings. I'll just take random clay at my house and like nerd out about making different things. I made frogs the other day… I made oranges and just some other weird trinkets. It’s so much fun. I’m also really into film photography, and I like nerding out with Mike Chan about that.

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

Quinn: I think I would use the word liminal. Kind of like an in-between— high school is such a weird time. You’re never super happy for a long time, but I’ve also never felt super sad or anxious for a long time. It’s just such an in-between time. Sort of an obnoxious word, though.

Abram: I would say unexpected. Because if someone told me, like 3 years on the line from 2017, when I entered in here, “You’re going to be this person,” I would’ve laughed out loud and said, “You’re crazy.” I never expected to become the student I am today, or the person I am today. CPS kinda molded me into being a better student, writer, to be more organized and on top of my work, and more of a diligent person— and I gotta thank College Prep for that. Even though there were struggles, and the highs and the lows, I have a tremendous amount of gratitude that I was able to go to CPS and was able to progress and improve in such a big way. I would’ve never expected to be the person I am, so my word is definitely unexpected.

Sonia: I think my one word would have to be growth. It’s kind of a vague word, but I’ve definitely grown a lot at CPS. More than I even thought I would, coming in as a freshman. I think I’ve become less introverted, more excited to try new things, and get to know new people. I think that’s a big characteristic of CPS. There’s so many people that are so unique and fun to get to know. Even through all the not-so-great things that have happened during these four years, overall, everything has made me a better student, friend, and person. So yeah, I think my word would have to be growth.

Pablo: Probably fun. If I could use more words I would say stressed but fun. CPS is definitely a stressful place and everyone always talks about how they are stressed, it’s like you got this assignment and this assignment and a test and then another test the next day, but I think that stress kind of culminates and everyone feels it, so you can talk to your friends and classmates about it. Overall, it’s just a really good school and I don’t think I made any mistakes in choosing where I wanted to go to high school.

Hamed: I don't think I could do it in one word. I feel like I need something that encapsulates growth or exploration or self-seeking. I can’t figure out what the best word for that is. Self reflective? Soul searching? Maybe just hyphenate all of that and call it my word.

Adya: I think I would say becoming. I think it’s just because I think of who I was four years ago. I look back on that person and on who I am now, and I have really transformed and become something that wouldn't have happened without College Prep. It was just very becoming in that I was able to find my passions and what I want to pursue.

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

Quinn: Happy, mostly? Well, I’m kind of saying that now, in retrospect, because I feel like if you would ask me at different points throughout high school, like when I was super stressed out, I would not have said that. But I think mostly happy, and I feel like growth as well. You definitely change a lot in high school.

Abram: I would say freshman year, I was just new to this school, I had a lot of lows at that time, and it was really just a time of restarting and figuring out who I wanted to be in my personal journey. Sophomore year was building upon that, and really seeing like, “I like this, I like that,” trying out new ideas, and that was really fun. I think junior year was when I really found myself, and I became the person that I am today, right now. It was definitely the year of the final transformation for me, or atleast for high school. Even though junior year was only really like a semester and a quarter, I loved junior year. It was easily my best year. Academically it was great, but more socially— I got a lot closer with my friends, I went to huge concerts that were so great, and I still think about that. And for senior year, even though it’s kinda depressing that we lost so much time, I’m just glad that I have close friends that reach out, or that I can reach out to; that’s definitely a big thing. But I would say overall, my four years at CPS have just been community for me, because CPS extends beyond the Baldwin Gym, the Rech Room, the classrooms. It’s my friends, the classes, the community that I’ve built— that’s my CPS. It transcends beyond the physical buildings and the campus, and it’s turning out really beautiful near the end.

Sonia: I think I’d describe my time at CPS as a little bit hectic. Between the academics, and all the relationships you form, there’s rarely a dull moment. So, it’s really hard to sum it up in a short description. I also feel like it went by so quickly-- I mean, there’s so many ups and downs, that it’s really hard to characterize. As for the people, I’d say everyone I spent these four years with has just been incredible. The teachers, the faculty, the students...people with such unique talents and passions. All of that made me ultimately pretty glad that I came to CPS.

Pablo: I think my time at CPS has been pretty well spent with people that I enjoy being around and talking to. It was stressful, and there was a lot of work involved, but I had a great time being in class and learning all these new things. And the campus is super nice as well, so just walking around and being in the sun was always great.

Hamed: I think the people are what makes College Prep special. The teachers are absolutely incredible; even if i didn't love any given class, I still absolutely loved getting to know every teacher and just getting to talk to them here or there. I think that the friends that I've made here— plenty of them will be longer lasting connections than the stereotypical high school friendship. There’s just a lot of depth to the people and to the curriculum. It all just felt very homey. That's why I chose College Prep… something felt right. I experienced that homeyness all throughout my time. There's been a lot of learning and there have been a lot of ups and downs. On net though, I have no regrets.

Adya: It wasn't always easy. It was definitely challenging and stressful, and there were plenty of tests and all of those bad things that high schools have. I really feel like people can really get you through it though, and I think that College Prep really prides itself on the people and on the community. And it's all true! I’m really glad that I was able to meet these people and do all of that with them.

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