A graduate of Shorecrest High School in Lake Forest Park, WA, Olivia served as chief justice for the school’s program to oversee student government and processes and as assistant editor for Tattoo, the school’s literary arts magazine. She participated in Link Crew, Interact Club, and the marching band. She is a member of National Honor Society. Olivia was a National Hispanic Scholar and participated in a language immersion program in Guatemala. She won first place in a written-Spanish literary contest for her poem “The Rhythm of Revolution.” Olivia was a Bible-camp counselor and tutored elementary students at a community after-school program.
On the first weeks of freshman year …
It feels slightly awkward to be sending this letter into drafty cyberspace, but I hope it can explain a little bit more about transitioning into college and the Sullivan program in particular.
When I think of a reflection, I think of a looking back. Rather, this seems to be a looking into, an introspection. I am in the midst of the first few weeks of fall quarter and am still in the bizarre process of assimilating to a distinct subculture. College is different from high school. As well it should be.
I am continually surprised by how adaptable we are, how quickly the new becomes routine. I am so thankful for my new and old friendships, my newfound sense of community, and my family I can still see on the weekends.
If I were to impart any advice, I would say to take a deep breath. The college process is daunting enough without obsessing over every step of the way; it is more important, as the Ancient Greek aphorism asserts, to “Know Thyself.” Remember that in the fullness of time, we won’t even remember the anxieties dominating our lives now. When I become overwhelmed (a not uncommon occurrence in the Honors Program), I remember that less than one percent of the world’s population holds a college degree. The very idea that we have this remarkable opportunity to pursue academics is so humbling- it makes us responsible for serving the other 99% better than we could before.
I hope you have a fantastic last year, and I wish you the very best in the Sullivan competition- I look forward to meeting you!