Hey my name is Araceli Valz, I graduated from Broad Run high school in 2011 and I’m currently a freshman at Virginia Tech.
So for me going to college it was not easy, and I’m sure it’s not for anyone. But for me its even harder because I moved here when I was a sophomore. I got here 3 years ago from Mexico City, I moved here from Mexico City and I had no idea of what was going on. I had always went to a private school in Mexico City so I had no idea of what a public school was. I had always wore a uniform. I got here knowing nothing about the US system, so when they tell me, “oh yeah, applications for college and all this” I’m like new to that. I had no idea what was going on. I had no idea I had to take SATs, I had no idea what an AP class was, I had no idea what anything was.
So I decided to ask my counselor, I was like hey I want to be successful, I want to go to college, I want to have a career, so what should I do? And she said first you have to get good grades. So she didn’t have that much faith in me I guess, so I started getting good grades, I got straight As.
So I came back to her and I was like here are my straight As now what? And she was like oh, you really want to do this? And I was like yes, I really want to get good grades I really want to go to college. And I kept asking my parents, and both of them are graduates from schools in Mexico City so it’s completely different and they were like ok this is how it works over there but I was like oh I don’t think it works the same way.
So I kept asking my counselor, I was in her office like every single day. I was like, ok what do I have to do to take an AP class, where do I sign up? But she was like no, first you have to get good grades in the regular ones. So I got the good grades and they placed me in the AP classes and she was like if it’s too hard for you, you can always quit. But I’m like sorry I don’t like that word, I’m not going to quit. So I kept taking more and more AP classes, and although I started kind of late, by my senior year I was taking 5 AP classes and I got credit for all of them. So it might sound like I didn’t do it, but I really did. And I’m sure if I could do it, anyone can. You just have to want it and you just have to work hard. It wasn’t easy but you can do it.