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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Summer School: Students opt to take college-level courses over the summer

One of the best parts of pre-college, according to Ryan Saadeh, is making friends. Here, Saadeh (second from left) spends time with friends he made at Brown.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Saadeh.
One of the best parts of pre-college, according to Ryan Saadeh, is making friends. Here, Saadeh (second from left) spends time with friends he made at Brown.

For many students, having schoolwork over the summer may sound irritating. They may define summer as being a work-free (and therefore stress-free) period before school starts up again.

However, some choose to attend pre-college programs at universities and take college-level courses. Many schools, such as Columbia University, offer summer courses for juniors or seniors, giving applicants a choice of studying either in New York City, Beijing, Barcelona and Jordan.

For instance, junior Ryan Saadeh took two courses for two weeks each at Brown University’s pre-college programs in the summer of 2013.

He did two sessions (one course per session), the first being “The Psychology of Gender” and the second being “Sex and Chromosomes”.

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Saadeh said that the admissions process is, for the most part, open to all.

“It’s selective, but [my programs were] not as competitive as some other ones,” he said.

He cites the best part of the program as being able to explore different academic fields.

“I really got a sense for different fields… I realized that I actually love psychology,” said Saadeh.

Junior Emily Roe plans on attending a month-long program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University this summer. She has not attended anything like this before.

Roe will take courses about music, musical production and marketing, to name a few.

“I’m really passionate about [music], I want to pursue a career in it when I’m older… and NYU’s my top school, so I get a chance to really experience it first-hand,” said Roe.

Saadeh also cites the friends he made as a highlight of the program.

“I made a lot of really good friends that I’m still friends with now,” he said. He mentions that, since he lived on the Brown campus between sessions, he hated being alone when his friends left.

“I had a week where all of the friends I had made had already gone home and I was there, alone… I was kind of bored and everyone else had different friends from the newer sessions,” said Saadeh.

Roe most looks forward to living in New York City during her time in the program. However, she worries about what the other people will be like.

“I’m worried about not getting along well with people, or having problems with people… I’m worried that there’s going to be someone who is not going to be able to collaborate well with me and we’re just going to have problems,” said Roe.

Both students agree that the program has, or will, help them prepare for college.

“This exact program that I’m going to is within the school I want to apply to for college… I’m going to be spending time with people who are going to be, hopefully, teachers when I’m in college,” said Roe.

Saadeh said that the program got him ready for not only college, but high school as well.

“The program matured me a lot. I feel like I kind of changed after living on my own for a month, and I definitely think it [helped me] for college, because I got used to all of the freedom and even the increased workload,” said Saadeh.

He said that his work genuinely interested him.

“I actually cared about what I was learning,” said Saadeh.

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Leila Siegel, Online Feature Editor
This is senior Leila Siegel’s second year on The Pitch Online as the Online Feature Editor. Besides writing articles, Leila participates in the school’s symphonic orchestra and WJ S*T*A*G*E’s pit orchestra. She is also involved in the Black Student Union, Amnesty International club and the Read, Grow, Live Club. In her spare time, Leila enjoys sleeping and watching Netflix. She is excited to see what this year will bring to The Pitch Online. [email protected]
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