Redefining Success

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Redefining Success

Sarah Banholzer, Page Editor

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This past Thursday night, January 10, in the Amador library, the PTSA along with the AV Wellness Committee, hosted the Redefining Success Event. This event was open to both students and parents and included a panel of Amador and Foothill alumni. The panelists shared their own personal pathways through college and life after high school in hopes of broadening people’s opinions on the topic of success and how to achieve it.

The overall theme of this event was addressing the increased stress on students as they prepare for college or the process of getting into college. The panelists talked about how consumed with stress many of them were while in high school. This stress was due to the pressure of taking challenging classes to increase the likelihood of getting into a good four year college.

“I would like students to relax and do things that will be best for them. Not take classes because they think that it’s something they should be doing. So I think that is really the most important thing. If I could go back and talk to high-school me, I would be like chill. Relax, it’s going to be ok. Because I was stressed out all the time,” said Mrs. Baldwin, panelist and Amador history teacher.

The panelists talked about their own journey from high school, to college, and now on to their careers.

“Through high school I competed as a track and field athlete here at Amador. I was recruited to play track and field in college, so I went to UC Berkeley and competed four years for them as a student athlete. Upon graduating, I ended up studying economics. I actually had no idea what I wanted to do with economics once I graduated. So for the last year or so I’ve actually taken some time to do a couple smaller jobs to feel out different paths and try to find what I am passionate about rather than leaping head-first into something. What I’ve fallen into right now is that I do some data analysis consulting for a small business in San Ramon. I think I’ve found the direction I want to go and I’m hoping to find my path from there,” said Mr. Esparza, one of the panelists.

Each panelist had his or her own unique experience of navigating through the process of college and discovering what they want to do in life. However, they all were similar in the fact that they were way too stressed in high school due to challenging classes, sports, and the overwhelming process of getting into college.

This is the second year that the AV Wellness Committee has put on this event.

“We did this event last year and we got a lot of good feedback from parents and students about how much they learned. A part of wellness is making sure students don’t feel stressed and this is a part of stress because college, life after high school, grades and test scores are all stressful. To give this opportunity for students to realize that people don’t go through one specific path in life to be where they are and successful is a major reason we wanted to do it again,” said Lauren Londono (19’).

Along with the panel of Amador and Foothill alumni, there was a panel of parents of graduated Pleasanton students. These parents shared their experiences with the college application process and dealing with their children’s struggle to create their own path after college. The parents agreed that it is important for parents to take some stress away from themselves as well as from their children. They explained how parents need to stop pushing their kids so hard when it comes to school and grades and understand that it is important for students to pursue classes and passions that truly make them happy instead of classes that look good to colleges.

“Looking back now, I am so thankful I that followed my heart and ended up at the school of my dreams. So the biggest piece of advice I can offer to current high school students is not to worry so much about what college they go to because everyone ends up where they are supposed to be. Just do your personal best and you’ll be successful,” said Savannah Fried, one of the panelists.

By opening up the conversation about having good mental health in high school and creating your own path to success in life, the AV Wellness Committee hopes that both students and parents learn to relieve some stress when it comes to high school and college.

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