Sierra Lindsay, ’14, is now a Creative Writing major in her junior year at the University of Arizona.
City High School, now in its thirteenth year, has graduated over 300 students who have travelled and lived all over the world, and have made huge contributions to their various communities. Alumni can be found caring for animals, working in preschools, studying for exams, translating ancient texts, and working on airplanes. This piece is the first of a series that will focus on alumni, what they’re up to now, and what they remember most about their time at City High.
Sierra Lindsay graduated in 2014. During her time here, she was an active member of and intern for the CHS Drama Department. Sierra spent all four of her high school years at City HS and developed as an excellent writer, thinker, and community-builder during her time here. Now, Sierra is a junior at the University of Arizona, majoring in creative writing with an emphasis on fiction. Sierra was recently awarded the 2015-2016 academic year Highest Academic Distinction within the college of Social and Behavioral Science. The requirement for this award is to maintain a 4.0 GPA over the course of 30 units (around 10 classes). Congratulations to Sierra for this incredible accomplishment. Here are some highlights from a recent interview with Sierra:
-What is your favorite thing about the major you have chosen? I’m in an upper division fiction workshop right now that centers around students writing 15-20 page short stories and sharing it with the class in a roundtable style discussion. These classes are definitely my favorite, because they give me so much room and creativity to come up with new ideas and try new writing techniques with the expectation of getting detailed feedback from my instructor and peers. I’ve developed exponentially as a writer and have even won scholarships for writing I produced in these classes!
-How did your time at City prepare you for success in college? My time at City High was incredibly helpful in allowing space for me to figure out my strengths and weaknesses in academics, and where I saw myself five years down the road. I went through a lot of college decisions while I was at City – my junior year I was positive that I would take a year off from school before going to college, or that I wouldn’t go at all. My senior year, I was applying to colleges to be a theater major. So much has changed! I’m glad to say that City granted me a certain kind of freedom, both academically and creatively, that helped push me towards the path I’m on now. Being able to get specific help on skills I would need further down the line with teachers who cared wholeheartedly about my success was invaluable to me, and something I definitely miss!
Should more/most kids consider college? Why? I do believe that college should always be part of post-high school plans. Even if you are certain that it won’t work for you, I’m a big advocate for giving it a try. It is so much harder to decide to go to college after taking time off than it is to just give it a shot for the first semester. College is hard, and it’s expensive, and it’s so often this huge terrifying thing looming over the heads of students who can’t pay for it or don’t think they can cut it academically. But it’s also so gratifying to find a major that you love, accomplish things you are proud of, and make connections with faculty members in your department. College is an amazing way to facilitate connections for the rest of your life.
What advice do you have for kids in high school regarding post secondary plans? As a low-income student, I thought there was no way I could pay for college. But if you start early and keep good grades, study for those standardized tests, complete the FAFSA, and take your college applications seriously, you WILL get paid to go to college. And if you try it and discover that, hey, you’re definitely not cut out for it, that’s okay too. I am a much stronger, more confident, and self-assured person since attending college, and I can’t imagine where I would be if I had followed through with my original plans to simply not go.
Thanks Sierra! Keep up the good work. We are so proud of you.