I am extremely interested in serving as Student Ambassador for the 2023-24 school year because it is an excellent opportunity to share the amazing experience that Stanford OHS has offered me! Firstly, I am an international student living in the Netherlands, so Stanford OHS has given me the opportunity to form great relationships with people I might have never met if the school was purely in-person.
In addition to that, Stanford OHS has also fostered my academic and social life more generally. My old brick-and-mortar school did not take an open-minded approach to my education; instead, I was placed in a situation that I was not comfortable with, learning material that I had already learned, making friends who did not understand me, and having very few teachers who would, or even could, help. Upon joining Stanford OHS, however, I have found courses that are of utmost interest to me, people with whom I can connect, relate, and chat easily, and instructors who are willing to help and who appreciate my work.
If the school has given me all of this, then not only do I want to give my full support in return, but I also want to give other, prospective families and students a chance to live the Stanford OHS experience as I have. In fact, I may have already started doing this – I have talked to a great extent about Stanford OHS and all of its benefits with my close friends here in Rotterdam, and one of them was so intrigued that they applied and were a single-course student last year! As a Student Ambassador, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to introduce other students around the world to the school that they have been searching for: Stanford OHS!
What I Love About Stanford OHS
What is not to love about Stanford OHS? To that I do not believe there is a response. Though it may seem somewhat daunting or deterring that Stanford OHS is just that – an Online High School – there is no need to worry! For those who prefer an in-person experience, there are frequent local meetups in addition to our four main in-person events: Summer@Stanford, Homecoming, Pixel Festival, and Pixel Gathering and Graduation. I have attended Summer@Stanford (twice) and Homecoming, and I absolutely love the chance to hang out in real life with my best friends. Nevertheless, this unique online environment has, at least for me, helped my mental and social/emotional health.
At Stanford OHS, I have found a group of people who understand me and have had a similar experience to mine, and with whom I feel more comfortable talking. I also find it quite easy to make friends because of the more relaxed nature of the online medium, which can cut down on the stress or awkwardness of in-person interactions. Not that Stanford OHSers have any trouble talking to each other – there are always way too many thoughts loading up our minds – and our Skype, Discord, and Pronto communities exemplify this.
Not only are people very social online and willing to talk for hours, but Stanford OHS has an amazing support system, both formal and informal. Classmates will generally answer your questions on these platforms if they can, but most courses also have Peer Tutors and/or Teaching Assistants. These are students from previous years that know all the ins and outs of their course/s, and I really appreciate all the work and effort that they put into the task (having been a Peer Tutor for 5 courses myself). Of course, if you ever feel that you need adult advice, you can go to Writing Instructors (the adult counterparts to Peer Tutors) or even simply your course instructor’s online Office Hours.
One of the things I especially love about Stanford OHS is the instructors: I do not think I have had a single instructor who I have felt uncomfortable talking with or who has not wanted to support and nurture my growth. If you ever need help with a course – which is not uncommon with the academic rigor of Stanford OHS – they are always there for you. Being a full-time student is certainly a challenge and work-intensive, but luckily this is in stark contrast to my old brick-and-mortar school. I came to Stanford OHS for the challenge, and I am really happy that it is living up to my expectations. That being said, if the coursework ever gets too intense, the school has Fridays built into the schedule as break days. Rather than attending classes, students get to participate in assemblies, clubs, games, movie nights, and many more events. Overall, Stanford OHS is an absolutely fantastic experience, and I, personally, cannot wait for what the next year of adventure will hold!