My Four-Year Journey

by Sarafina Milianti, Round Lake High School, Class of 2014

The Round Lake High School Schuler senior class (minus two)
I would be lying if I said the last three and a half years were a piece of cake. I faced many challenges and hardships, but my Schuler family was always there to help me along the way. Despite the circumstances, I always had comfort in knowing I had such a strong support group to back me up or guide me in the direction I needed to go. I learn new things every day through Schuler, and I can honestly say I wish every student had the opportunity to have such an amazing program to be there for them.

Working with such an intelligent peer group was probably the hardest challenge I faced as I interacted with them each day in the Schuler office, class, or STEP (after-school enrichment programs). I always knew they were there to help me, and I was there to help them, but for some reason the back of my mind would never let me process that truth. I always found myself trying to compete with my classmates or comparing myself to them, and that made things much more discouraging.

This challenge led me to talk more with my Scholar Coaches, who were always available as mentors. I knew I could always trust them because they knew how this part of life went. I remembered the most important thing I learned from my junior year Scholar Coach: comparing yourself to others gets you nowhere in life except feeling bad for yourself. I came to realize that each person has their own traits that make them who they are.

My Scholar Coaches taught me many life lessons, but I am glad I spent so much time with my peers too. My Schuler class has become so close over the past years to the point where we even bake cakes as a "family" for our College Counselor. We work on Calculus together, study for finals together, and have homework dates at Panera every so often. I learned not to live my life comparing myself to my peers, but to use them as resources.   I use this knowledge to help my peers as they help me. We are all in this race together, and Schuler helped me realized the best parts of the experience.

I encourage all future Scholars to take advantage of all the resources you are given through the Schuler Scholar Program. Whether they are your peers, Scholar Coaches, or even extra study books, they are all there for you, but it is your responsibility and choice to take advantage of those resources. I'd say, the more you use the better, but never forget to be a resource for others as well.


  1. Great job Sara. Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom.


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