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Guest Column

The New Providence Standard

Camille Ake

Friday, April 4, 2014 • 2:26pm

I'm probably supposed to say "there is not typical student at New Providence High School." I don't want to lie. There is a New Providence standard. The standard, typical NPHS Pioneer is book smart, hard-working, becomes disgruntled by bad grades, and has their entire career path ahead of them. How come I've lived in New Providence for 12 years but don't fit the bill? As my final years come to a close, I realize now that I'm not supposed to fit into a stereotype. New Providence has a standard, but only one to work off of so that I can make my own life.

New Providence is a school that takes in scared, introverted freshmen and transforms them from the inside out into the state's most brilliant scholars. I knew from watching my siblings graduate from this school that high school would change me for the better. I didn't know how, but I knew it would. What I discovered early on was this high school was actually a competition. Remember those book smart, hard-working students I mentioned before? Well they hatched and took over the grade once we all took our first test of high school. We realized this wasn't middle school anymore, this was one step closer to the real world. My friends changed. My acquaintances changed. Everyone became more studious. There was less of an incentive to "hang out" and more excuses of, "I need to study."

There was nothing wrong about this wave of change that came about, but the issue was I wasn't riding the wave. For some reason, I just could not get the hang of the intense pressure. My freshman year grades were steadily decreasing overtime while the GPAs of my friends were rapily increasing. Why did I not latch on the way they did? It was because at New Providence, I didn't want to be just another student who goes through the motions, gets the good grade, then goes to the college my parents want me to. My rocky grades of freshman year taught me that I'm going to fail sometimes. When I think I'm going to succeed or when I think success will come automatically, the brutal truth was that that was not always the case.

I don't have the same amoun of knowledge that my peers read from too heavy textbooks. I work hard in intervals; I don't always stay focused. I don't see the issue in receiving a bad grade every once in a while. I surely don't have my career path planned out ahead of me. It's more than obvious that New Providence High School deserves all of the recognition that it has ever received, but post-graduation success can be reached through a different path. Some may call it luck, some may call it a technicality, but I've made it. I'll be attending New York University in the fall: despite the C's, despite the unproductive late nights, despite my being an introvert. I may not be the sterotypical New Providence student, and I may not always uphold the reputation the rest of my graduating class puts on so nicely. I do know however, that despite my methods of succeeding, New Providence High School has always been there as my backbone, and I owe all of my future success to them.

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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