A decision to attend a particular high school is not an easy one. This interview of young Nicole, now a college student, might alleviate the process.
Q: Why your high school choice?
When I was applying to high school,the schools of choice amongst my peers were the specialized schools’ Brooklyn Tech and Stuyvesant, as well as the community school Midwood, Midwood, though lacking the title specialized, and had similar prestige to the Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech. Despite the strong credentials held by each of the schools, I choose Brooklyn Tech. I felt that Brooklyn Tech would be the best fit for me as it specialized in science, my favorite area of study. Additionally, Brooklyn Tech was in the perfect location for me. To clarify, Brooklyn Tech is located in FortGreene, a distance far enough from my parent’s work in the Midwood area, but yet not so far that I would have to commute over the bridge as I would have to for Stuyvesant.
Q: Tell us about the application process.
The application process for high school was long and tedious – involving many nights of reviewing high schools in an overly stuffed manual. On top of researching for high schools, I took part in Kaplan preparation classes for the specialized high school exam. The only positive memory I have of the high school application did not haveto write a myriad of essays.
Q: How was it taking public transportation?
Despite living in the Mill basin area, where there are no trains, taking public transportation to school was still relatively pleasant. My total commuting time averaged 40 minutes with only one bus to train transfer. Also since Brooklyn Tech is located near the Atlantic Terminal I had access to several trains, making it easy to travel throughout the city.
Q: What did your parents do to help you take public transportation?
Since New York City gives students in public schools metro cards, my parents did not have to help me take public transportation. It should be noted that the student metro cards’ allowed 3 full rides everyday, which was enough to go to school, stop at the library, and then go back home.
Q: When did you decide to attend the high school of your choice? What other high schools did you apply to?
I decided to attend Brooklyn Tech when I was taking the specialized high school exam. To elucidate, before you begin the specialized high school exam you have to numerically list your top school choices. If you score high enough to get into your first choice, then you only get into your first choice – you cannot choose between all the schools that you scored into. At first, I had bubbled in Stuyvesant because it was ranked the number one school in the city but I quickly changed my first choice to Brooklyn Technical High school, which had a lower score requirement. My rash decision was based on my belief that I would enjoy studying sciences at the Brooklyn Tech. Though, I must also admit that I figured that most of my friends would not score into Stuyvesant. As it turned out, I scored high enough to go Stuyvesant, but as I had predicated most of friends were accepted into Brooklyn Technical High School. Even though a high school choice based on where your friends are going may not be the smartest, I can gladly say that I stand by my choice to this day.
In addition to applying to Brooklyn Tech, I applied to Midwood, Murrow, and Goldstein – all of which are located in Brooklyn. From the 3 aforementioned schools, Midwood was second choice after Brooklyn Tech because it had a prestigious Biology department. Goldstein was next on my list as it focused on mathematics and science. Murrow high school was my last choice as it focused more on humanities and the arts.
Her American dream
Nicole’s desire, her dream if you will, was realized even if it was a difficult high school process. She realized the beginning stage of her American dream. She graduated from high school with a full scholarship to a college of her choice.