Name: Téa
Graduation Year: 2022
Middle School:  École Bilingue
Hometown: Oakland
What's the biggest difference between middle school and high school? The biggest difference for me is that half of the classes aren’t in French, like at my middle school. But in general, even though high school is more work, it also feels slightly more rewarding–what you’re learning finally has a purpose.
Why are you glad that you chose College Prep? When I chose College Prep, I never expected there to be so many caring, kind, compassionate people. The community at CPS is truly so amazing, and I feel so lucky that I am at a school where everyone is so welcoming.
What advice do you have for 8th graders applying to high school? While applying and even when choosing schools, your top choices are going to shift around and it’s super important not to get fixed on one school. Look at all the options with the same view and try to see which one will fit you best. Also, be sure to check  everything out for yourself, and don’t trust everything you hear (Prep CAN play sports). Don’t be scared to put yourself out there. Be 100% yourself.
What campus activities are you involved in? I am on the Speech team speech, which allows me to become not only a better speaker but also learn about interesting issues that other students at other schools deliver speeches about. I’ve also done the fall play twice! Freshman year, it was probably one of the best choices I made.  I met so many students in other grades, every actor was so welcoming, and I felt like I finally found a safe place where I could just be myself. I also play on the Prep soccer team. This allows me to not only meet new people, but get to know and work with these people really well throughout the course of the season. In terms of arts, I’m in the Advanced Vocal Ensemble, which was a great art to take because I love singing, but I’m not very good at sight singing, so I was able to work on that.
What is your favorite College Prep memory? I came from a very small middle school where my graduating class was only thirty students. Even though Prep is small compared to other schools in the East Bay, it was still nerve wracking to start school in a new community, with ninety other people that I had never met before. I had also heard stories from my friends who had already started at their high schools that the upperclassmen all hated freshmen and would do things like throw eggs at us. These stories did not help diminish my nervousness. But, on the first day, there was a meeting for all those interested in being in the fall play. I went, along with only three other freshmen. The three of us walked in together, and were greeted by hugs from the juniors and exclamations like "Yes! Drama freshies!" To be honest, it was kind of overwhelming, but at the same time, I realized that the stories that my old friends had told me about upperclassmen didn't apply to most people at College Prep. Even though I was one of the youngest actors and students, everyone at Prep made sure to welcome me into their community.
What is your favorite place on campus? The courtyard! All the students that hang out there at all times, lunch, breaks, and free periods. It’s really nice seeing part of the College Prep community come together and talk with friends, catch up on work, or just chill.
What has been your favorite class? English I. Not only was my teacher great at explaining the material, but I also learned so much in this class. For the first time ever, I enjoyed reading the school books, and had a great time with my class. The teaching style with the round table was also perfect for English and definitely contributed to the awesome environment.
What has been the best thing about College Prep? I know that this is one of the most frequent answers to this question but I would have to say the community. Everyone here is so kind, compassionate, and understanding. People are always up to talk about assignments, stress or just life. Coming to Prep, I assumed I wouldn’t have much time for just talking or socializing, but I do, which is really nice.
Who is your favorite character from a movie/book/television series? My favorite character from a book is Feyre Archeron from “A Court of Thorns and Roses” because of how strong and human she is. She’s always getting pushed down, but I love and admire how she just gets back up again, wearing her scars proudly.
Three unusual things about me:
1. I can twitch my eyes on command, which is honestly kind of creepy.
2. I’m a competitive archer.
3. I’ve traveled to 22 states in my life.

La Escuela Preparatoria de la Universidad

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