Megan, High School Student, CA
"Each student has a different story, and it can affect their learning, so I think it’s really important to understand their point of view."
Megan is a student at Palo Alto High School (Paly). She was interviewed by a peer, one of our student Catalysts, for the RE-ENVISIONED collective visioning project at Paly in Spring 2017. Check out other #SchoolSpotlight interviews for Paly by following #PeopleofPaly.
What are your hopes for life?
I think that having a family would be great, having supportive friends, and currently I’m really into in science and biology so I hope to become a scientist when I grow up.
Is there anything you worry about getting in the way of that?
Well, I feel like no matter what you do there’s going to be obstacles. I guess that could probably steer my direction in different ways, but I think there’s a way to pass those and hopefully those obstacles will lead you to what will make you happy.
What do you do to not let obstacles get to you and to move past it?
I feel like friends and family would really help to keep you pushing, to really have a mindset on what you want to do, but also don’t be super strict on what you want to do. Still open your horizon.
What are things you worry about now? Whether it’s school or friends or anything in your everyday life.
Definitely tests and grades. I feel like sometimes when you fail, it can make you feel bad like "Oh, it’s not right for me," but you learn from that mistake and keep going.
What role do you think schooling should play in helping you achieve that life that you want to have?
I think the fact that you get to meet new people, and we get to learn things [which] can really help [you] reach your goal. I feel that high school is a new experience for people, that shape you. You spent for years of your life here.
Do you think right now that Paly is living up to what you think schooling should be?
Yes I think that from my experience Paly is doing a great job. Because I think the environment is really nice and the people are helping and understanding- teachers too.
Do you think that the people in your life - whether it’s teachers or family or friends - agree with you on those kind of levels? (what schooling should be)
Well I haven’t really asked them but I think so, I do think the age difference might affect their answers. Because if you’re talking to parents or teachers it was different and they grew up in different places around different people.
What have been some of your most empowering educational moments? It doesn’t have to be in schooling, it could be something from extracurriculars or with family/friends.
It actually happened like this year, this school year in the beginning. I tried out for cross country but I usually just do swimming. I’m not really a runner because I swim but I tried it out and I really liked it. I think I overcame my comfort zone.
What would you say made it such a memorable time?
There’s so many aspects. I think one part was when you’re running cross country where there’s a ton of miles, it’s not really something I’m used to doing, so you really have to mentally train yourself and push through the pain. So I think that really gave me more confidence in myself and made me feel better.
Tell me about a favorite teacher you’ve had.
I have two. So, one was my choir teacher in eighth grade, and she was really sweet and made me smile all the time. I had a passion for singing, and she was really cheerful all the time and I really enjoyed that. My other teacher was from middle school too, and I was really cheerful in eighth grade and she would always look at me and smile. That always made me really happy cause she really liked the fact that I smiled and was always really happy.
What made you think, "wow I really love this teacher," and outshine the others?
I think they're so understanding and nice. I feel like some teachers who don't really connect with students and aren't really great teachers. They don't really teach you, they just tell you what to do. I was kind of upset by that. I feel that each student has a different story, and that it can affect their learning so I think it’s really important to understand that point of view.