It wasn't until eighth grade that I began to appreciate teachers and realize the profound impact they have on my life. It all started, when my school went into full lockdown. I can still recall the flurry of emotions on Ms. Sparks face as she ran from window to window closing the blinds and locking the entrances. As each blind emitted a “clink” the room descended into darkness. In a panic, she led us to the corner of the room, far away from the doors or windows. We sat and waited, until our principal finally came on to the intercom: “Everyone, the lockdown is over. We request you remain in your rooms until further dismissal.” The students let out a sad sigh as class would resume until “further dismissal”. Being an immature middle school student, this seemed like an exciting way to get out of math, but it wasn't until after the incident that I understood the emotions behind it. As Ms. Sparks recovered from the ordeal, she talked about how she thought of each of us as her children, and she would only want the best for us. That moment that changed me. After understanding my teachers drive to see me successful, I began to value my education much more. I learned information and processed it, as appose to just spitting it out on tests. However that’s not all I gained, teachers went from just an educational figure, to someone who I can open up to in times where guidance was needed. Someone who would give me genuine advice, and help me through any problems I had. It was then, that school became significant.
Two years later, I found another practical application to communicating with my teachers. My Spanish teacher and I started talking about high school life and pieces of advice to help me become a better student. At first, I viewed this as an opportunity to speak Spanish, but as time continued the advice started to shape who I was. We started by entertaining the possibility of pursuing the IB Diploma, which at the time seemed far out of my comfort zone. After countless hours of discussion, Mrs. Laicer told me “the decision is yours, but DO NOT regret choosing the wrong option later on”. This single quote, impacted my entire high school experience, and taught me to challenge myself in all aspects of life. Teachers became a guiding force, and in some cases, a person who can convey lessons that even my parents sometime fail to teach. From that moment on, I came to realize that teachers have helped to shape the person who I have become. They taught me virtues that I am built on, such as respect, sympathy, and compassion. I see myself gaining further wisdom in college, by communicating with teachers as I did in high school, and seeking their guidance. By doing this, I will push myself to greater heights, and thrive in my environment.
Throughout my adolescent years, I have idealized two things: computer programming and skiing; more specifically, the skill of ethical hacking. My fascination of hacking can be traced back to my childhood, as I witnessed security crises unfolding in the computer world. I can recall the specific moment, the CNN news flash appeared with an image of a man who had been charged for hacking into a defense agency. At the time I never really understood what the defense agency or hacking really was; all I knew was that I was captivated by it. As I began to learn more about computer systems, preventing attacks like these intrigued me. The most suitable or preferred method to prevent these attacks, is to hack the system to expose the vulnerabilities. So that’s where I began. I started by surfing hackforums, and learning how I could get some legal practice. Small legal missions provided a training ground for me. The memory of my first hacking my mission of searching the html code to find a password still lingers with me. The excitement and joy of finding that single password just helped further my desire to continue the process of hacking. However, I wasn’t just reaping benefits on the computer screen. I used my programming history to analyze each aspect of a task or problem, not just holistically as before. It taught me, how to manage time and create the most efficient route through a situation.
As for skiing, I could not imagine life without skiing. My passion developed around age 10, and just increased with time. Weekend after weekend, I would pack my skis and a small duffle bag into the trunk of my parents car and head up to the mountains to enjoy the snow. I found this as a sort of motivation, to get through school days. Just knowing I could let go of all problems the second my skis came in contact with the snow seemed like paradise. The snow was the only place where I could balance the emotional stress of school with fun and leisure. In addition to emotional satisfaction, I used skiing as a method to stay in shape before baseball season.
However, due to programming and skiing being in completely different environments, the idea of pursuing two of my favorite activities seemed like an unattainable dream. Despite this, after countless hours I have discovered that perfect bliss, University of Wisconsin- Madison. A perfect blend of fun and work; allowing me to pursue my major at one of the highest ranked computer science schools in the nation, while enjoying the wonderful Mount Horeb with the Hoofers Ski Club.
Can anyone please give me any tips or advice on these I'm in desperate need of help and don't really have many resources to help me