Mediocre high school student finding success in college

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
6/10. I never felt entirely part of the community at [high school name omitted]. But I know I got a good education, and I didn't fully realize it until leaving. Take advantage of the programs you have!

Grades in high school
B's and C's.


Favorite subjects
English, History / Social Studies, Journalism

Struggled with...
Math. I never felt like I was keeping up with my peers, but I didn't realize that I wasn't horrible at it until I got to college and saw my peers also struggled with math even more than I did.

Favorite extracurricular

Life since high school

I think my concept of self confidence has improved after leaving Palo Alto. Having that confidence has allowed me to find success in more ways.

Attended college / university at
American University

Majored in
B.S. Economics and Print Journalism 

Places lived in US
District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)

Places lived outside the US
Copenhagen, Denmark

Current occupations / past occupations

Industries I've worked in
- Information (e.g. Publishing, Film, Broadcast, Telecommunications, Libraries)
- Media

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
I think my education at [high school name omitted] really jumpstarted my love of journalism and everything that followed that. My college experience has been defined by interning, for better or worse. I love the experiences that I've had, but in some ways it reminds me too much of the pressures faced at [high school]. But despite my performance at [high school], I've found success in college academically, socially, and professionally.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I added a double major in economics out of self interest after finding out that I wasn't actually that bad at math afterall. 

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
Being successful is something that is constantly changing to me. In high school, that math test was the biggest deal in my life. Then which college I went to seemed important. In college, a long term relationship that turned into a breakup seemed like the end of the world. Now, graduating from college, the job that I have seems to taken priority. That being said, being content in the present is something that to me signifies success. Nothing else really matters.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I think my concept of self confidence has improved after leaving Palo Alto. Having that confidence has allowed me to find success in more ways.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I think interning at USA TODAY for the midterm elections would be my greatest professional accomplishment to date. Feeling like you contributed some aspect of public service through a career you're trying to pursue was a very fulfilling experience. That being said, working as a resident assistant at my university is personally more fulfilling. When you are responding when people are often facing the worst parts of their life gives you perspective and has allowed me to help others.

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest regret so far has been not putting myself out there more freshman year. I played it pretty safe, much like in Palo Alto. I wish I realized that I could balance more between a social and academic life. 

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
Helping residents going through suicide ideation to get the help that they needed has been personally validating after growing up in Palo Alto and seeing the impact of suicide on a community. It gets better, and the resources are out there to get help. Ask for it, and don't be ashamed that you need help. We all do sometimes. 

This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
In order to protect anonymity, we will pass along your message and they can choose whether to respond.

My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

The Dish