Balancing Schoolwork and Schuler in the Transition to High School

by Angelique Jones, CICS Ralph Ellison, Class of 2017

Angelique completes the pamper pole challenge at Camp Manito-wish YMCA. If you can do this, you can do anything!
My first semester of high school was a tough transition from 8th grade. I was not used to a lot of homework, studying for weekly quizzes, and having to keep up with seven different classes. There were times I felt overwhelmed trying to figure out how to keep up with my schoolwork while upholding my responsibilities as a Schuler Scholar.

In the beginning, everything felt so fast-paced and I couldn’t find the right balance between Schuler and schoolwork. It seemed like when I was on track with schoolwork I fell behind on Schuler responsibilities, and vice versa. The Schuler Scholar Program at Ralph Ellison expects the best out of their Scholars; some expectations are remaining in the top ten percent of your class and always giving your personal best. Other responsibilities of a Schuler Scholar are to attend reading enrichment programming (REP) and Scholar Training and Enrichment Programming (STEP) and complete any assignments given. For example, in STEP we journal, make diagrams, take notes, and write essays. In REP we sometimes have to create alternate endings to a short story we have read or respond to in-depth journal prompts.

As mentioned before, my transition to high school was not the easiest. My first semester was full of exposure to new things: new teachers, friends, challenging work, and Schuler as well. In addition to these new experiences, the Schuler Scholar Program offers the unique opportunity to extend what we learn about in class, REP, and STEP through exposure to events throughout the city. My favorite exposure was going to see Wicked the musical. It was a very interesting musical that provides a backstory to everything that happened in The Wizard of Oz: why the witch was green, how she became evil, and why the wizard actually left were all covered. After the play we went to a restaurant downtown, where we tried different foods.

Although the work seemed overwhelming and will continue to be challenging, I know it will benefit me in the long run. Working hard in high school as a CICS Ralph Ellison student and Schuler Scholar will prepare me for the nation’s top colleges and universities and provide me with lifelong skills. Learning to manage my time, stay organized, and create good study habits will allow me to succeed in the following years of high school and in college. 


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