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October 11, 2016
Now that I am a senior, I am reminded of my GSSM admissions process as I go through the college admissions process. They are mostly the same but this cycle may be a little more daunting since there are multiple places to apply to. The standardized test scores, interviews and teacher recommendations are bad enough, but the essays are the real challenge. They all essentially ask “Why us” and if you’ve never really given it any thought, it can be very challenging trying to come up with a reason why. I may not have all the answers for myself but I’m here to help you prospective Govies out there with “Why GSSM”. Here’s a list of some of the reasons why I wanted to come to Governor’s School and how they’ve changed since I’ve been here:
My home high school offered AP and honors classes but not as many as I would have liked. The classes that I did take were still pretty easy and I decided that I wanted more out of my high school curriculum than an easy A. One thing is for certain, I’ve gotten my challenge! My courses at the Governor’s School have been anything but trivial and I am truly grateful for that experience. Because of the level of difficulty, I have been pushed to not only memorize facts and formulas but to think critically and deeply about the subject matter. It has also taught me that a grade is not the only indicator of learning. True learning is a sense of accomplishment from collaborating with your teachers and working diligently to grasp a foreign concept. The pride that comes from this feeling of doing your absolute best is far more meaningful to your teachers, your parents, your peers and most importantly yourself than any grade.
Upon entering the Governor’s School I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take, but two electives in particular caught my interest: Technology Ventures and Introduction to Organic Chemistry. I was able to take Tech Ventures during my first semester and it was an incredible experience! It taught me that a successful business is all about the idea and the entrepreneur. No business will ever succeed if the product is not something the entrepreneur is passionate about. It also taught me that businesses can also make an impact socially through a case study that we read on MPESA: an African mobile money transfer system. In pursuit of my other interest, I took AP Chemistry which is a prerequisite for Organic Chemistry. AP Chemistry was really interesting and I discovered a LOT about my favorite science that I’d never thought of before.
The unique thing about junior year was it allowed me to discover another passion: creative writing. Before GSSM, I had no real interest in literature but that all changed after taking Junior English. Because of that class I started writing for fun. When it was time for the creation of senior schedules, I decided to take Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry instead of Organic Chemistry. I knew that both teachers were phenomenal but the opportunity to learn creative writing from a published poet is rare, especially for a STEM major! The class has only two other students, but it has been a blast creating new realities in my fiction stories and I am ecstatic about the upcoming poetry portion of the course.
At my old school, I had some great friends and acquaintances and I served as Sophomore Class President. It was a great year but one of the driving factors behind my application to Governor’s School was that I wanted friends with huge ambitions. I wanted to be around the “doers” of our generation: the ones who were going to change the world someday. I hope to change the world by becoming an entrepreneur-philanthropist and owning a company whose products and use of resources benefit consumers. Since coming here, I have not been disappointed. My classmates aspire to become the world’s next neurosurgeons, aerospace engineers, computer scientists, architects, lawyers and diplomats. Their goals are inspiring but their words of encouragement, hugs and smiles are what motivate me to pursue my dreams. There is a spirit of community here that is hard to beat. A Govie is someone who is ready to positively change the world starting with those nearest to them.
These are just some of the reasons why I wanted to come to the Governor’s School and why I hope you’ll consider coming as well!