Hola! Ni hao! Hello all, new and returning secondary division students! My name is Anaïs González, a rising senior at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, and I’d be lying to you all if I said that ATDP has not changed my life.
Before I begin, by the show of hands, how many members of the audience are newbies to ATDP? How many of you are returners? How many of you returners have taken a course in the Elementary Division? Due to my past experience with ATDP, I believe that I can be a valid source of advice including love the challenges that you will be faced with. It’s inevitable that every single individual in this room will face one challenge or another during their time in ATDP.
ATDP is heavily rooted in my family, my father took two math classes in 1986. Yes, two math classes—one being Algebra 2 and the other Precalculus. He and his brothers have not only participated in the program but have also served as instructors for ATDP. My mother also served as a TA. I hold the honor of being the first kid born of ATDP alumni. I took my first ATDP class in 2004 and have continued ever since.
With that being said, I have a lot of pressure in my hands, as I continue to keep this legacy alive. Coming from a public school education from a rural town near Fresno, I immediately hit a brick wall when I began the Analytical Writing course in the Secondary Division of ATDP. I remember everything slapping me in the face; the level of the course was much more intense and the pace was much faster than what I was used to back home in Hanford. Back at home, I was used to getting good grades without having to put as much effort as I did—and still do—in ATDP. Although ATDP has taught me that there are others that are smarter than me, what I love about ATDP is that it has taught me to disregard my stress, to face and love the challenges put in front of me and to work closely with faculty and classmates to do my best, thus further improving my educational skills.
As for you? Well who knows! Your challenge might differ from mine or it may be similar. Whether it be getting over your fear of public speaking or making sure that you ace every single math test that is given to you, make sure that, instead of feeling stressed, you love and face the challenge that is given to you. ATDP will challenge you to do your best along with amazing people and that’s what I love about this program. Thanks to ATDP, it has also helped me get into the prep boarding school called Lawrenceville that I attend in New Jersey. Believe it or not, ATDP largely benefited me in standing out from other students that applied to the same school from the Central Valley. You never know how ATDP will change your life and open up doors for your future.
To those who are new, there’s no need to be stressed or scared. You will make it out alive, I promise. To the returners, I know you will all succeed above and beyond in whichever course or courses you have enrolled in. Keep it up. To everyone, I wish you all good luck and most importantly: take advantage of ATDP and have fun!