Seniors of CPS: Shreya M, Gabe M, Ayush G, Kayla C, Morgane H, Anika B, Marie T
This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed seven lovely seniors— Shreya, Gabe, Ayush, Kayla, Morgane, Anika, and Marie — for our fifth week of Seniors of CPS interviews. Some were interviewed in sunny living rooms, others in quiet bedrooms (with the addition of some lovely head accessories)! 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, and have a great intraterm!
Q: What is something unique about you/a fun fact that your classmates might not know?
Shreya: I’m a pretty open book, if I’m honest. But one thing I love to do is watch sports— the thing is, I feel like that’s a pretty common thing to do, but I think at CPS, because of all the timing and everything, I didn’t get the chance to be as involved in sports as I wanted to be. But generally, I love hanging out and playing basketball, and I’m also a pretty big fan of just watching sports on tv. So I guess once we all get past the “work all the time” sort of place, and we can get together again, it would be great to hang out with my friends and play basketball, football, or anything really, together. But I would say that it’s mostly about hanging out for me— I just love spending time with our grade. And now I’m so sad that we won’t always be part of this little unit!
Gabe: People probably know that I’m a twin, but… I’m a twin! Fun fact… my favorite karaoke song is Pocketful of Sunshine— I slap that. The high notes are all mine; I would go toe-to-toe with anyone in the world on that song. I’m also really superstitious. Not all the time, just on some occasions, like sports. I always put on my right sock, then my left sock, and then my right cleat, and then my left cleat. It’ll be little things like that. And for finals, I have this secret little thing that I say, which I won’t say right now because it’s my secret little thing, but yeah. I’m not super superstitious, like I don’t believe that the world’s going to end, or that it ended in 2012, or something like that, but I think there’s several traditions that I do with myself. Like, up until the last time we took finals, depending on the what day of the month it was, I would eat coffee beans for however many days it was— like if it was the 23rd, I would eat 23 coffee beans in the morning, to get me through the day of studying. So that was… interesting. But normally they were chocolate covered, though, so I’m not completely like the devil’s spawn; I’m not that insane, just a little bit.
Ayush: I guess I come off as a math and science nerd, but I really enjoy studying geography. I'll spend hours on end playing games like GeoGuessr. I really love geography… I think it’s super cool. I wouldn't say I’m good at the game, but my highest score is 24,000/25,000. (*note— this is a phenomenally good score).
Kayla: So I play softball, and my team travels a lot for different tournaments. I always travel with my dad, who loves ice cream. Whenever we travel to a different state, we will find the best homemade, local ice cream in that area, so I’ve tried the best ice cream in random states, like Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Maine, just because we’ve traveled there for tournaments. Even if my team doesn’t play well in that tournament, it’s always really fun because I get to spend a lot of time with my dad. We have a lot of crazy stories from travelling together.
Morgane: This is a weird one, but I have a mild fear of people cracking their knuckles. I don't know why— I think it is because I’m picturing the air between their joints like… popping? I really don't care about any other joints. Just knuckles.
Anika: I do gymnastics, and I coach gymnastics. That’s always been really fun and enjoyable. I enjoy being able to just throw myself into whatever skills we’re working on and I’ve always enjoyed gymnastics for the new things we learn and the people— I do it more for that than the actual competing.
Marie: Hmm… oh, I have a good one! At the end of eighth grade, a bunch of my friends came to Six Flags with me. We had season passes, so we used to go all the time. We were leaving the park at 11 pm, right when it was closing, and we were one of the last ones to leave. We were outside the fence, and this guy said: “Hey, do you want to be extras in a Six Flags commercial?” All of us were like, “Of course we do!” They just opened the fence, and let us in illegally. Basically, they had this new ride, and they wanted a shot of the ride in motion. They needed people on the ride, so my legs are just dangling in some Six Flags commercial out there. This was around four years ago, so I doubt it’s running anymore, but it was a really funny experience.
Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?
Shreya: Does “thought-provoking” work? I mean, I guess it does, but I was planning on adding more to that so I guess not… so I want to say quirky. It’s been really really fun, in its own way. It’s definitely been pretty hard, but I really appreciated being within this group of intellectual people, who also know how to have fun. I feel like it’s not very common to be lucky enough to hang out with people who like watching sports, but also like talking about politics, and also love to go out at night to watch movies— but at the same time have goals and focus on school work, you know? And I think I really just appreciated that about the CPS community; it was just this wonderful balance of the two, where I didn’t feel like I needed to choose.
Gabe: I’m not going to say unfinished, but that definitely comes to mind. Something in that vein, atleast, but I’m not sure if there’s a single word for this… like, full of potential but not realized? I could probably thesaurus that, but… I’d say above all, it was pretty fulfilling. I made connections with people, made great friends— no one really gets the most out of everything, but you know, I talked to teachers, I engaged in my classes, and I think that energy that I put in, socially and academically, was given back to me tenfold.
Ayush: I guess something along the lines of unique or eye-opening. I live in suburban Fremont; it’s basically just a bunch of houses, and a very large portion of the population is South Asian. I just had not seen much of the rest of the Bay Area, so both meeting the community inside of CPS and seeing the rest of Oakland has been new and exciting. Oakland’s pretty neat. Since learning pods started, I have begun coming up with some random excuses to get food from somewhere in Oakland every Friday. Recently, I’ve been really obsessed with the bread from Cheeseboard.
Morgane: Hectic, but in a good way. I feel like there was always so much going on, and sometimes it is hard to appreciate things in the moment. Looking back at it, though, I was always learning and doing new things and meeting new people. I feel like just getting to do all of that really taught me so much.
Marie: Can it be two words? Okay, cool. I would say ‘main character.’ Coming to CPS, I feel like a main character. I know that sounds a little weird, but I feel like everyone at CPS is their own main character. Nobody is in the background, everyone’s at the forefront, and so uniquely themselves.
Q: How would you describe your four years at College Prep and the people that you spent those four years with?
Shreya: It’s been… the time of my life. I mean, everybody says high school is its own experience, and I didn’t know what they meant by that, until, well, high school happened. I feel like CPS offers this unique experience where you get to be next to Rockridge and make friends on BART with not only just the people from CPS, but also random people! You get really exposed to different people, and it’s so great. I was talking to this guy on BART once, and he was from England, and he told me about school there, and the metro there, and that was really fun. I’m a debater, so I also got to travel a lot, and that was super fun. You get to stay in this room with people who enjoy the same thing and you can stay up late together— it’s like this huge slumber party, with work and fun. And maybe you get to share some pizza, because the only place that delivers that late at night is Domino’s! So yeah, it’s just been a really crazy ride, and I’m so thankful that I was able to embark on it with my classmates.
Gabe: I’m not sure if passionate is the right word, but people here are caring in the sense that they care about other people, but also about what they’re doing. I mean, everyone does things that they’re told to do, like, “Oh, I have a math assignment that I don’t really want to do,” but I think at the end of the day, everyone, or most people, see the value of the experience that we have of being in this tight-knit community. And I think because of that, people care that they make the most of it. And people also care in the traditional sense that if someone needs something, there are many people that will be there for that person, either emotionally, or math-help wise, even though those two kind of go hand-in-hand.
Ayush: A new experience. College Prep was as hard as advertised, so Freshman year was a little overwhelming, especially first semester. Once you get used to it, though, it’s pretty fun. It’s pretty cool how you figure out how to balance your life at CPS. Even now, I’m looking back on last year: I would wake up at 6:30 and drive to school and do eight hours of school, two hours of volleyball, and then do homework and eat dinner. That’s a lot! If you told me all of that four years ago I would’ve said, “Please don't send me to that school.” It does a good job preparing you for college! I feel like I wouldn’t have really gotten that great experience, both academically and just in regards to the people, anywhere else. People were really friendly and really open.
Kayla: I think when I’m older and look back at my time in high school, I’ll have really happy memories. It all went by so fast for me. I actually love going to school, like I love waking up early and being in class and learning a lot, and doing my homework outside, and being with people who can think so critically. The people at CPS have been really inspiring, and I’m going to miss everybody a lot next year.
Morgane: I think it is a very welcoming community. Everyone really takes the opportunity to get to know people, which I really appreciate. I also feel like there isn't one CPS student or type. People really try to be themselves and embrace everyone else, and that really stands out to me.
Anika: I remember a lot during middle school there would be stretches of time where I really didn’t want to be in class, but the majority of my time at CPS the classes have been interesting and kept me motivated and engaged in what I was learning. And I guess that could also apply to meeting new people, like getting to know everyone and finding out all the interesting things about everyone here.
Marie: Going back to that amusement park theme, definitely a roller coaster. It’s scary at the beginning, but once you get used to it, it’s super, super fun — but then it’s over so quickly. And the people you ride the roller coaster with get to go through the same things as you. They’re also the types of people who decide to ride roller coasters in the first place. They’re definitely the types of people I’ve met, and become friends with at CPS.