Submitted By: Alex Li
With the two weeks of AP testing over, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. I can finally look forward to four years of attending one of the most prestigious universities in the world, UC Berkeley. However, this time has also allowed me to reflect upon my high school career and school in general.
Mission San Jose High School has been an incredibly challenging yet enriching environment for me. Four years of incredible hard work, stress, and unique challenges have shaped who I am today. Gone is the scrawny, little kid from four years ago; he is replaced by the political junkie dedicated to public service. Gone is the whining about the world, replaced by the resolve and drive to actually go out and do the work needed to improve it. Most importantly, gone is the Alex that didn’t want to do the work needed to improve physically and intellectually.
High school was not without its misery though. I am sure that we have all experienced incredibly strict, unfair, or generally terrible teachers. Just one of them in one semester gave me incredible levels of stress. Hours of studying just to pass brutally unfair tests, and a general hatred of school in general. Staying up till 1AM doing boring work for points is an experience we can all relate to. However, there are those challenging but good teachers who managed to restore my faith in education. Mr. Bellotti teaching AP US History or Mrs. Rusu in AP Calculus AB were some of the best teachers I ever had. They were strict, but as a result I learned much more than I could have learned from my easier teachers. College applications wracked my brain, yet I managed to survive them and get to where I am today. In hindsight, they were a process of self exploration and identity formation.
I am still not sure how I want to rate my high school experience. But I can say this–it was an experience that will stay with me throughout my entire life.