How GSSM Changed My Life

May 11, 2016

Interim

My first international experience was during my senior year interim course. I went on the Mediterranean tour through Spain, France and Italy. I was submerged in other cultures and learned about the history of each place we visited. This trip came at a discounted price and made it affordable for me and my friends to see countries we may never have otherwise. 

Research

Very few high schoolers are fortunate enough to participate in undergraduate and/or graduate-level research as a high schooler. My research was in Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute working in computer science and robotics education research. Because of the opportunity provided to me by GSSM, I have received an offer to continue my research this coming summer.

Friends 

As cliché as it sounds, the people I have met have become a second family. They are your support system when you fail a test and your biggest cheerleaders when you ace one. They are the people who surprise you with a Cookout milkshake just because. They are the people you share adventures in Hartsville with and the people who knock on your door just to hang out and procrastinate work. They know exactly what you are thinking and can push your buttons, but in the end, are still the people who know how to make you cry from laughing so hard. 

Transition / Dorm life / Independence / Growing Experience

GSSM allowed me to have a transition period between high school and college. It allowed me to experience dorm life, get used to condensing all of my belongings into a shoebox, wash my own laundry, and take care of myself without the constant supervision and guidance of my parents. I was able to grow into a more independent adult before I was thrown into the college atmosphere. This gradual transition will help me to adjust in college quicker than other students would be able to and have me better prepared for managing a block schedule.

Education

GSSM has taught me more than I ever expected to learn in high school. I had the chance to take Engineering Statics junior year and Neuroscience senior year, two classes typically offered exclusively in college. When I interviewed for the Chancellor’s Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh, my interviewer was the Dean of the Honors College and the head of the Neuroscience department. He was astonished by the level of course work available to me at GSSM and thanks to my Neuro classes, we were able to spend an hour geek-ing out over the brain. Not even a week later, I was offered the scholarship. I owe it not just to impressing the Dean with my neuro knowledge, but to embracing the cumulative opportunities provided to me at GSSM and running with them.

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