Back when people greeted each other with handshakes and not their elbows, I pondered what I would do in the future and how I’d get there. The only thing I was certain about was wanting to go to college.
Tulsa Honor Academy has helped me and other students get closer to this goal. Though I’m still unsure about what I want to do in the future, this school has helped me prepare for what I will eventually decide on.
At Tulsa Honor Academy, teachers have talked to us about college since Day One. Along with test-taking tips and strategies, I’m particularly grateful for the yearly practice ACT exams we take. It provides a great opportunity to get familiar with standardized testing so that we are ready for the real thing. During our yearly college campus visits, we also have the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with colleges and how they work.
In the virtual setting, college research assignments have also been a big help in knowing what to look for in a school. I’m certain that these opportunities will help make applying to college less intimidating.
Tulsa Honor Academy’s structure pushes for personal and academic growth. As a young person, it’s easy to be tempted to ignore responsibilities and downplay how important certain things are. THA reminds us how impactful our actions can be and why schoolwork is important. It pushes us to hone our skills and learn from mistakes in order to prepare for the real world. For example, the way that students are disciplined, the demerit system, is designed to give us chances to improve our behavior.
Now, handshakes are no longer the right way to meet people, and school moving to online virtual learning has been a challenge for me personally. It can be hard to separate my at-home mindset from my at-school mindset.
I address this by making my learning setting feel as close to school as possible; I take my notes in dedicated notebooks, and I try to get my work done in one sitting so that I don’t have to worry about it when I “go home,” that is, turn off my computer.
I know that teachers are facing the same struggles as students; I’m sure it’s difficult to direct several classes a day from home. I try to interact with my teachers when I can, which also helps distance learning feel more as though it was in person.
Our teachers go above and beyond to make sure that we get a high quality learning experience that keeps us on track for college. Our chemistry teacher, for example, always does her best to make virtual learning as close to real school as possible. While we haven’t been able to do lab experiments in the classroom, she comes to class every day with engaging lessons, as enthusiastic as ever. People like her make the pandemic that much more bearable.
This school challenges us to be better and take advantage of our opportunities. We receive testing and preparations for college that will help us in the long run. Our teachers are constantly putting in effort to give us a high quality education. I can say with confidence that it is an experience like no other, and I’m looking forward to how it will grow and teach us more in the future.