STUDENTS | April 8, 2021
By Marshawn A., a senior at Austin College and Career Academy
If I could walk into a classroom tomorrow, the only way I could describe it is that it would feel like school. This doesn’t mean that I’ve hated learning at home. I’ve actually kind of liked getting away from the drama that sometimes happens at school. But if my principal were to give me the opportunity to come back, I’d be there so fast.
The two things that I’ve learned growing up on the West Side are that you have to get in cool with your group of people and focus on your grades. And now it’s my senior year. My last year in CPS. I want to be back in school to catch up with my friends and finish our time in high school together.
I think the first emotion that would hit me when seeing my friends again would be a sense of relief. When you only get to talk to someone over text or Instagram for a full year, it’s just not the same. I’ve had a good year academically—all As and Bs—and I don’t plan on getting any Cs this year. Getting good grades is important, but it’s just as important to build a sense of trust with your teachers.
Your teachers are going to make sure that you stay focused, and if you don’t have their trust, you aren’t going to be able to be successful. Teachers know that it’s easier to copy assignments or look up the answers without really understanding the questions since we’ve been at home, and some of that trust has been lost. It also makes me anxious to have my camera on every day. Sometimes, I just want to be around other people in person.
In my Spanish class, we’re currently creating superhero comics just like Marvel. I would love to see what my classmates created—and not just on a screen. I’m also getting started on a project for my English class thinking about life after high school. This project has made me think about how I’ve grown over the past four years. I used to be really sensitive. Now, I’m not like that anymore.
My goal is to go to college to focus on graphic design. I became interested in that after being inspired by the designs used in WWE wrestling. It’s impossible to think about life after high school without thinking about my senior year. The words I would use to describe it so far are odd, different, unique and a little annoying.
This isn’t because of my school. ACCA is a good school, and I think it has prepared me well for what comes next. But I’ve been learning at home for months now. In my opinion, it’s time to experience something new.
That is how I want to celebrate the end of my high school experience.
Marshawn says that reading and history are his two favorite subjects. Math is a different story—he says it’s “exhausting.” His principal, Mrs. Simone Griffin, says he is a sweetheart and one of the top students of their Class of 2021.