SAS Class of 2009,
New College Class of 2013
My fate was sealed at an early age. I always knew I would attend Miami Beach Senior High. It was the inevitable final step in my pre-college educational plan. I would qualify for the selective Scholars Academy, take a heavy Honors - AP course load, and receive personalized counseling, all at a school large enough to offer elective choices suited to my diverse interests.
For years the plan unfolded seamlessly. I was admitted into the Scholars Academy based on the grades and accomplishments I had stockpiled in middle school. I signed up for eclectic electives and joined service clubs. I was in my element, I thought, as I participated in academic competitions, played saxophone in the jazz band, and was elected to the Scholars Academy Executive Board.
Suddenly, things changed, as I was confronted with an intriguing alternative. My parents told me about the School for Advanced Studies, a dual-enrollment program for 11th and 12th grades only. If I enrolled at SAS, I would take both high school and college classes, and have the opportunity to interact more closely with the faculty and school administration.
I must admit I was afraid to switch schools. I worried about the added responsibility of traveling on my own, by city bus, to the school's downtown Miami location on a college campus. By transferring to a smaller school, I would be giving up the activities that I loved at Beach High, such as Jazz Band, and the feelings of camaraderie and collaborative musical accomplishment. I was concerned about losing my friends and leaving behind the rich history and legacy of my school. And when I did take the risk, and switch schools, I did give up all of those things.
What I did not anticipate was how much I would come to love my new school! The responsibility of making my own way downtown, traveling city streets between high school and college classes, and choosing my own curriculum have all prepared me for my future in a way that my old school never would have. At Beach High, I was never able to get to get to know my teachers as individuals. I never had the opportunity to learn how they felt about real-world topics including politics, current trends in television programming, and the music of the '60s and '70s. At the School for Advanced Studies, I have truly connected with the faculty and have forged a genuine partnership with my teachers!
All in all, making the move to the School for Advanced Studies has been a wholly positive experience. I gave up a lot of what I loved at Beach High, but I have gained a love for my new school and the rich possibilities afforded to me. The added responsibilities have helped me mature and given me an enhanced self-image. Because I took the chance, I have grown as a student and as a person.