• The Tracy High Scholar & Athlete was inducted into the National Scholastic Press Association Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2002

  • Scholar & Athlete is the Tracy High School student newspaper

  • Email for newspaper adviser - Gary Henderson, [email protected]

  • Tracy High School - 315 East Eleventh Street - Tracy, California 95376 - Phone 209.830.3360

  • Tracy High is a California Distinguished School

Scholar & Athlete

My life, so far: Sarah Branstetter

Sarah Branstetter, Staff Reporter

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As a senior enduring my last few weeks of high school, with graduation just around the corner, there are many things I am able to and would love to reflect on. I have grown and matured so much over these past four years, and I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today had I not encountered and overcame the struggles I endured throughout my high school career.

As a freshman, I came into high school expecting it to be like the movies I had watched, which portrayed the environment as exciting and stress-free. I honestly believed that these four years would become the best years of my life, that I would be able to come out of my shell and experience new things. However, this was not the case. Throughout middle school I had done exceedingly well, and school was never too hard for me. Everything changed when I entered high school, I decided to take IB classes and that is when my overconfidence in academics was completely shot down. I found myself constantly enduring late nights, with little sleep, and struggling to maintain good grades in my classes. But I did it. Junior year was probably the most stressful year of my life. But I did it, and I can honestly say that I am proud of myself, for devoting my time to sleepless nights and giving my all in everything I did.

If I could advise my freshman self, I would lower my expectations of high school and how fun I thought it would be. I would also tell myself not to be so conscious of what my peers and the people around me thought of me, of how I dressed, or the classes I took. High school, although the work is vigorous, is a time to make friends, have fun, and make the most of your youth. No, it is not all about fun and games, not at all, but it would not be worth your time to solely focus on academics and neglect to make the most of your time here. Engage with people your age, talk and get to know your teachers, and embrace the last moments you have as a kid to be foolish and free.

Adulthood approaches and in a matter of days, I am going to be 18. It is a scary thought to leave the comfort and protection of my family and venture off on my own, but I think that after these past four years, I am ready to take it on.

This fall, I will be attending UCLA, the University of California Los Angeles, the school I have been dreaming about since middle school. Applying to UCLA was a longshot, it was always my dream, but I never thought that I would be good enough to get in after being repeatedly told that it is an amazing school and very few that apply are likely to get in. But I did. It was such a huge shock and dramatically shifted the “more practical” plan I had of staying close and attending a university near home. As of now, I am a committed student to UCLA’s class of 2020, and

I could not be more proud of the work I did in those pesky four years of high school”

— Sarah Branstetter

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My life, so far: Sarah Branstetter