Tuesday, May 29, 2012

College Bound 2012: GHS Salutatorian, Elizabeth Horner

I was 9 years old when my first submitted article got published. I wrote an essay about my “Last Day of School” that appeared in the Daily Advocate Newspaper, in June 2003. Soon after, I received an invitation from the editor of that newspaper to write for their Special Independence Day edition. I remember having strong feelings of sadness and happiness the day when I wrote that first piece. Sadness because I would miss recess and playing with my friends at school and reading with my buddy, Rachel. I would also miss my teacher Mrs. Burchett and the class games that made learning so fun and easy and her little notes on my writing papers full of encouragement. I also loved my music class under Mrs. Brewer because she had a way of making it more exciting. Then there was Mrs. Burns who challenged me doing analogies and “perplexors” and Mrs. Hawk that made my art work look a lot more interesting like magic by teaching me the value of light and dark.

Happiness because I looked forward to water gun and balloon fights with my Dad, and I loved planting seeds with my Mom and watching those little pieces of life grow. I looked forward to the backyard camp-outs pretending we were far, far, away but my favorite was eating s’mores. I could also play more board games and go to sleep after 9:30 p.m. I remember those late night discussions about the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and other book or television characters until my eyes would not stay open anymore.

I guess the time is here for another article as I say my goodbye to Greenville City Schools --- as a student. I told my Mom this weekend to please, please not wake me up unless the “tornado is at the gate” because I needed sleep so badly. I want to continuously challenge the common definition of “high school senioritis” of slacking off in comparison to a previous level. I encourage the readers to check my article Senioritis – College Bound 2012 for the sake of your high school kids.

As I started to dream about my college life in fifth grade I have been thinking of a university that will embrace my passion and provide me with the opportunities to grow in my chosen field … creative writing. I had visions of meeting, talking and learning from educators that would introduce me to very challenging but personally rewarding projects. When the time came to get started in August 2011, I did not waste any time. I cannot tell you how many admission essays I’ve written --- for the supplemental forms required by each university plus additional essays to be considered for scholarships. It tested my endurance in non-stop writing.

At the same time, I could not renege on my extra-curricular activities as those were important too, not just for my personal development but for each scholarship application that asked not just for my involvement but length and depth of my participation, leadership roles, and recognitions/awards as part of those activities. I had to continue to challenge myself academically to qualify for those scholarships, so I took 5 weighted classes this year that included Calculus, Chemistry, Human Anatomy, English and Spanish. The problem though was that there were not enough hours in a day to get everything done so things did not look up-to-par at times.

I wish that there’s something that can be done to make the process less taxing when you are applying to competitive universities. Hence some frustration sat-in, but I did learn to deal with the situation as they occurred. Now that the dust has settled, I could not think when I’ve smiled in recent times until I was completing my subject choices as a freshman college student two nights ago. I know that it is NOT about meeting certain educational criteria anymore but pursuing the true academic love of my life. All the fears, all the worries and frustrations that I had to deal with --- I realized that my parents and this community helped me be the strong and resilient person that I am --- and I have many people to thank for that. I will be sad to be away from my Darke County home for awhile, but this is always going to be, as the saying goes, home sweet home.

I have decided to go to New York University because of the University’s academic leadership and outstanding internship program in the areas that further my passion. I will join their Core Program in Liberal Studies and spend time at the Global Academic Center at NYU London as well as New York Washington Square . I can’t believe, it’s finally here and I am college bound August 29, 2012!!!

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