I’ve Been Preparing for College for Fourteen Years

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This month, beginning with National Charter Schools Week, we will feature stories from charter school graduates from across the country. Check back every day to see a new student feature in our 30 Days of Grad series. 

The way that Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. prepares its students for college is a process that is unlike any other. I am in the 12th grade now, but I have been going to Capital City since Pre-Kindergarten. In total I have been here for 14 years. When I started school I was very shy and I absolutely hated socializing. Every morning on the way to school, I begged my parents to let me be homeschooled. My quietness did not survive for long because Capital City is not a school where you can just sit in the back and never raise your hand. This school has a tendency to push people out of their comfort zones which, as much as I hated it in elementary and middle school, I am thankful for now.

Through class discussions and portfolio presentations, I learned how to speak up for myself and be more confident in what I say in class. I know this will help me in my college life which will consist of many class presentations and meeting new people. However, this was not an easy task for me to accomplish. I spent my entire middle school life stressing about my 8th grade portfolio presentation. Despite my stressing, I did pass – but I was on the verge of tears the entire time and had to be consoled by many teachers after I had finished. I knew that I did not want to experience that fear again, so when my 10th grade presentation rolled around I made sure I knew what I was doing and I actually felt really good while I was presenting. These are the kinds of projects required by Capital City that I know have prepared me for college.

One of the many exciting events that I got to participate in recently as a senior was the College Trip. Every year Capital City seniors get the opportunity to go on a two-day field trip to visit and learn about select colleges. One of the four colleges that we visited this year was Shippensburg University, which I had never heard of until that trip. As we were learning about the school and seeing the campus I realized that it had everything I wanted in a college. It is small, affordable, and has the majors that I am interested in. Plus it is a reasonable distance away from D.C. As high school graduation grows nearer, I am increasingly excited to start my college experience.

Ever since I was a kid I had been dreaming about the day that I would go off to college, although I was always absolutely terrified at the same time. The thing about being a student at Capital City is that you start preparing for college the moment you walk through the door. Everything from your classwork down to your schedule is an opportunity to learn and grow. I now know how to manage my time and be accountable for my own work. The lessons that I have learned in high school will help me be that much more prepared for what’s to come in my upcoming college classes, and I can’t wait.

[Click to Tweet] Shy at the start, she spent 14 yrs learning and growing at @CapitalCityPCS- now it’s time for college! #30DaysofGrad