ACP Alumni: Discovering the Unknown

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Mr. Bickes’ famous words are: “Once a Knight, always a Knight”. This means that even if a knight decides to switch schools or graduate, he or she will always be considered part of ACP’s family. As the youngest child in my family, I have experienced most things my older brother did. As many of you may know, this can be rewarding and also consequently dangerous, for older siblings know how to spin the truth to scare you about the future; however, my brother taught me a very important lesson. My brother showed me what college was like.

One of the many organisms Carl Whitesel researches in the Lyons Laboratory at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

ACP alumni, Carl Whitesel, graduated in the class of 2017 and is currently attending the University of California at San Diego. I asked him many questions about college, which will all be discussed later in this article, one of which was why he chose UCSD. His response was very helpful; he said, “UC San Diego has a great marine biology program, so that was an easy choice! Additionally, I really liked the atmosphere at the Marine Biology Campus. It was a relaxed environment that had less pressure and less grade comparisons to other students.” As a current senior, his response helped me to look at choosing a college with a new perspective. He highlighted the importance of looking at all aspects of a college, including the overall atmosphere given off my the students, teachers, and campus itself.

One of the most important things in college is keeping up one’s grades so he or she may be able to walk with his or her class at graduation, but I wanted to know more about college as a whole. I asked Carl what his favorite part about college was, and his quick response was no shock. “The opportunities. College has an attitude of if you work for it, you will get it. I went door-to-door with my resume and got into a lab position by being persistent. You can get anything by working hard enough and pushing against the status quo.” Knights, ACP has lots of opportunities for all students. These experiences in high school prepare you for college. Carl also elaborated on this subject by elaborating, “ACP is a small school. You will have friends you maybe see once a week. Your peers don’t judge you on how well you did on the quiz, or if you didn’t study but still got an A. People will be doing stuff not found at ACP. People will not study, people will study a ton, people will drop out of classes, or even the school. You’ll have classes with adults, parents, and even some retired folks.”

During the first semester of college, Carl landed the opportunity of a lifetime. He was given the opportunity to be the head undergrad researcher at the Lyons Laboratory at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Carl explained that he is “responsible for the husbandry and analysis of multiple organisms. We study the activated genes during the developmental stages.” He then expanded on how he got the internship. “I got the internship by ironically being rejected from another internship. I was at the labs and decided to just knock and ask if other professors needed people until I got a position.”

Knights, ACP is giving us the experience of a lifetime. College is just around the corner, and I hope this advice from our very own alumni, Carl Whitesel, is helpful.

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