The Stereotypical High School Story

Many high school students tend to ask themselves what their school career is. Is it academics? Sports? Extracurriculars? What exactly is the definition of a school career? A school career includes not only academics, but sports, leadership, and opportunity; anything that enables a student to grow and develop as a person. When it comes to high school, many students tend to overwhelm themselves with AP classes, leadership positions, and after-school activities? What are they truly passionate about? It is necessary to get overwhelmed? During my two years of high school, I developed my critical thinking skills and leadership through prioritization.

Pictured above, Salomée Levy and Zoubeida Fliesen Freshmen year

New Year, New Things

When I arrived as a freshman, I first thought I was Barbie, thinking I could take every class, participate in every club and sport until the workload hit… during the second semester of my freshman year I got less sleep and did not find interest the many clubs I participated in. I always wanted to become an activist, thinking my participation in National Honor Society, Science Bowl, College Mentorship and Leadership program would help me develop as a person, but I did not have the time for it and it not focus on diversity and inclusivity. I wanted to work on gender equality, LGBTQ inclusivity, and the access to education for all Nevada students. I knew I had to go out of my comfort zone, I had to work with new people outside of my school. There was this program called the Nevada Youth Legislature where I would serve a two-year legislative term to stand as an advocate for 128,000 Nevada youth to communicate and write new laws to combat problems Nevada youth were facing. On my application, I wrote about the issue of education and gave ideas to improve access to education for minority youth. When I got accepted, I knew it would be a great tie commitment, instead of participating in new clubs, I would reach out to different clubs and communities to hear their input of the education system in Nevada. My sophomore and junior year has been focused around Nevada Youth legislature. Instead of focusing just on academics and joining in several clubs to become an activist, I reached out to several community groups, and created Artsy Hands to provide quality art supplies and education to youth throughout Nevada.

Pictured above, Salomée Levy at the United Nations in February 2018 on behalf of Artsy Hands

How to Balance School and Activism

When it comes to creating activities to get youth involved throughout high school, it can get overwhelming. With traveling, school, meetings, phone calls and emails, it feels overwhelming. To sustain Artsy Hands’ success and my activism, I balance school and activism by creating a to-do list and the estimated time. I first finish by assignments due in the upcoming days, then I spare thirty minutes to respond to emails and make phone calls for Artsy Hands. When I finish these two things, I focus on assignments due later so I do not have to procrastinate. I always need to take care while staying busy; I do so by avoiding all-nighters and managing my time so I can balance school and activism. Not to sugarcoat the high school experience, but I have pulled several all-nighters in the past, especially when I worked on starting up Artsy Hands and “I Stand for Me”, creating projects from scratch is time consuming. Attending school after an all-nighter can be dreadful, first, always eat a nutritious breakfast after a long night up. I secondly like to take a nice cold shower to refresh my mind as a start a dreadful 8 hour school day, I also rub mint oil behind my ears to wake myself up and feel fresh. It is important to take care of yourself in these situations; sometimes you may not be able to stay home from school due to a maximum number of absences meaning that you have to stay strong and survive the day with 30 minutes of sleep.

Final Note, Don’t Ever Give Up

I got a D on my pre-calculus test last week as I have to skip my class twice a week to attend my dual enrollment classes. I felt really upset at first as it ruined by average in the class, I felt clueless on what to do next. I first review my mistakes and reattempt in solving the problem, I talk to my teacher if I have no idea how to solve it so I can further learn from my mistakes. From this, I learned that it is okay to fail, failure gives a chance to grow from some mistakes. When I make a mistake in general, I feel like I am able to grow as I find effective strategies to fix it. Avoid thinking that you are dumb, or are a complete loser behind a mistake, just learn from it and become stronger from it.

Pictured above, the Youth Making Change Committee Las Vegas Dance Marathon

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