Crenshaw School senior Hunter Oakley wrote about her experiences at the school and how attending has helped her grow and prepare her for college. Hunter was recently accepted to the University of Florida and will start attending in the Fall.
Read Hunter’s essay below:
“Every time I tell someone that there are fewer than one hundred kids at my entire school, I always get the same reaction: “Wait, don’t you mean in your class?” Then they are in complete awe when I explain that my school has grades kindergarten through twelfth, and my senior graduating class is approximately twenty students. The Crenshaw School’s senior graduating class has always been relatively small; to some this class size sounds like a nightmare, but to me it is an absolute blessing. Growing up in the setting of a small school has shaped my character in many ways.
Being at The Crenshaw School has provided me the opportunity to express my confidence through my ideas, feelings, and attitude. Because I have been in classes with a small number of students, I have developed the courage to speak to the teacher, and ask and answer questions during class, which has greatly benefited my learning experience. Now that I am moving on to college, I will have the confidence to ask questions and speak with a professor in the same manner.
My school’s student body is very small, so some may think there is little diversity; they would be mistaken. My school offers alternative schedules for certain students, such as athletes who need to be at a practice in the middle of a school day. This option draws a large number of international students who reside in Florida to pursue a professional career in sports such as golf. In a math class last year, I was the only American in the class, and also the only one who did not speak Chinese, but we all celebrated Chinese New Year together. In my Spanish 1 class, I not only learned from my teacher, but I was also exposed to different local dialects of the same language from friends who had grown up in Venezuela. I am looking forward to soon being a part of a diverse college atmosphere where experiences with people with different backgrounds are prevalent.
Being that my school is smaller in size, and nearly every student is involved in our school activities, it is imperative to try and get along with everyone. I know everyone at my school by name, what grade they are in, who their siblings are, and what class they have next. This has been valuable in developing compassion and people skills. I have learned that if there is someone with whom I disagree or who is not my favorite person, I can still treat him or her with kindness and respect, understanding we will continue to share experiences throughout the school year.
All of these aspects of my school have helped to shape my character. I believe that I have become a more patient, accepting, and open-minded person because of my upbringing within The Crenshaw School. The values instilled in me will inform my actions and understanding in the next phase of my life.”
Congratulations Hunter and we wish you the best at your new school!
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