Senior Spotlight: Sarah Ethridge

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

CHS Senior Sarah Ethridge

How has senior year been so far? Any differences between first and second semester?

It has been a roller coaster to say the least. I mean I have never worked harder in my high school career than I did during the first semester of senior year, but the second half of the year has easily been the most relaxing. It was worth all the stress and hard work at the end of the day. After you get past the application and scholarship process, the rest of the year is smooth sailing.

How was the college application process for you?

The process was long and trying, but rewarding. I thought that by knocking out my Common App essay over the summer before my senior year, I would be ahead of the game. Little did I know how much time and effort each supplementary essay would require. What I did, which was helpful, was work on my supplements according to a schedule, so that on January 1st, when most applications were due, I didn't have a mountain of essays to write on top of all my homework. By spacing out when each of my supplements were written, I made the process more manageable. On February 1st, I found out I was accepted into Davidson College as an early decision applicant, and about two weeks ago, I discovered I had won a full ride scholarship. At least all the anxiety of September 2014 paid off :).

Do you have any words of wisdom for sophomores or juniors waiting to begin the College Process?

My sister has basically already been through the college process once by having to WATCH me stress over my essays, deadlines, and decisions, so I'm confident that as a junior next fall she'll be prepared to tackle the college process. But for everyone else, I think the best advice I can offer is to make a schedule. I know. Gross. Who likes planning? All I know is that without my college spreadsheet, which listed each institution, its application deadline, and the date by which I wanted to have its app completed, I would've drowned last fall in the college process. With a schedule and a steady work ethic, your senior fall can be so much more feasible.

How do you get involved in the CHS community with extra-curriculars?

CHS offers such a wide breadth of extra curricular opportunities, so it was difficult as an underclassmen to narrow my focus on a few interests. However, I ended up doing a little bit of everything. I was a PAWS leader as a junior and a senior, I played field hockey and golf for all four years of high school, and I participated in the school musical every year. I was also a member of the select choir from sophomore year through my senior year, and as a senior I became a Co-President of the all girls a cappella group NSA (No Strings Attached). My biggest extra curricular commitment, however, wasn't a CHS function. For the past four years I have been a Youth Ambassador for Tourette Syndrome, which means that I rose awareness for TS and other associated medical conditions via assemblies at middle schools across New Jersey. Sometimes I'd have to miss two or three blocks of school to make time for my presentations, but the cause is really important to me, so I just made time to make up the work I missed.

What is one piece of advice you would give to the freshman they begin their journeys through CHS?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Your teachers offer up so much time during the day for you to come and see them if you don't understand some of the class material, and that became so critical over the last few years when my academic performance really counted.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Competitive, Motivated, Persistent

Why do those words represent you well?

I devote all of my energy to every activity I involve myself with, because I'm competitive with myself. I'm always looking for ways to improve my golf game or my singing abilities or even my study habits. In other words, I try my hardest, and I don't give up on a problem until it's solved. This also means I ask a TON of questions, because I'm a pretty curious person, and I won't stop at anything to find an answer.

What teacher has made the biggest impression on you throughout your 4 years here at the High School?

That's a hard question to answer. However, I'd have to say Mr. Bandel made the biggest impact on me. Every day of AP Physics was a challenge for me, but somehow, I still managed to love the class. He's just that kind of guy--super passionate about his work and knowledgeable about what he teaches. Whenever I had a question I felt reassured that Mr. Bandel would work with me and guide me in the right direction.

What are you looking forward to most as your final year high school is coming to an end?

I'm definitely looking forward to Senior Prom and Project Graduation, which will serve as two last hoorahs for the class of 2015. But Graduation itself will be a really memorable moment in all of our lives. I personally never thought I'd get to end of what felt like a marathon of tests and quizzes, but the end is finally in sight. As a result, crossing the finish line as an entire class will be a really powerful experience for me, and very rewarding.

What is your favorite memory at CHS?

Alright. I know this is kind of lame, but I think my favorite CHS memory was the PAWS retreat over this past fall. It was a twenty-four hour reprieve from work and stress to spend time getting to know our peers--many of which I didn't know prior to the trip. It was a really special bonding experience between classmates I surely won't forget.