How was your break and what did you do?
My winter break was not very eventful. I spent the 1st weekend in Laredo with my grandparents where I had my first (of 3) Christmas celebrations. After seeing my grandparents I went with my Dad and stepmom, Brandy, for a week. They had just moved into the house that they built, so I spent most of the week helping my Dad do small projects around the house. Once my stepsister, Makayla, arrived from college, we had an amazing sushi dinner and all spent Christmas day together. When I got back home to my Mom's we also had a Christmas celebration for my little sister, Avigail, and I got to help wrap and set out presents late the night before. Overall my winter break was simple, but I enjoyed spending time with all my family and taking a break from the stress of school.
What is the most trouble you have ever given your parents? What is the most enjoyment you have ever given them?
I think the most trouble I have ever given my parents is when I was told to do something and I didn't do it, or I answered back. This has happened several times and I think that is the thing I've done that has upset my parents the most over the years, since it's a repeated behavior. The most enjoyment I have given my parents is when I finish with all A's and when excel in band. At this point it is an expectation to make good grades and its somewhat of one to do well in playing the flute. I think those are the things they take the most pride in when it comes to me.
What dream can you conceive? Can you believe it? Can you achieve it?
I want to be in the top 20 in my class by the time I graduate. I believe that if I continue to work hard in my classes and get good grades I can achieve my goal. Right now I am ranked 26, so a little more work could go a long way! Handling my free time more responsibly, procrastinating less, and putting more effort into every assignment are things I could do to achieve my goal. I also should study more for big tests and work together with my peers so that we all improve.
What are you doing this weekend?
My plans for this weekend are pretty simple. On Saturday I am just going to sleep in and hang around my house during the day, then go to the movies in the afternoon. Sunday will be pretty simple also, but we will most likely have a family BBQ. This coming Tuesday is my little sister's birthday so we're throwing her a party on Monday at the Children's museum in New Braunfels. Those are all the plans I currently have, but I may end up hanging out with friends or doing something more exciting at the last minute.
How do you decide if you like someone? How do you show interest in them?
To decide whether or not I like someone, I usually first start by comparing interests. If we like similar things and have things to talk about, I will be more inclined to like them as a person. I also consider their behaviors and actions to see whether or not I agree with them. To show interest in people I like, I usually try to talk to them more and be friendly by smiling when I see them or showing positive body language. Having a good attitude when around them is also a good way to express interest.
Have you ever "passed on a kindness?"
I have passed on kindness before. I am a big believer in karma, so I think that if you do good things, good things will come to you. If someone does something nice for me, I feel like the right thing to do is do something nice for someone else. When people give me something I need or help me in any way, I try to do the same for others.
Who is your biggest fan?
My biggest fan would probably be my little sister, Avigail. She's four years old and she looks up to me a lot (literally and figuratively). Anytime she attends my concerts or any award ceremony/recognition ceremony she is very supportive. She often tells me that when she grows up she wants to be "just like" me, which i find really sweet.
What do you love most about yourself? What do others love about you?
The thing I love most about myself is that I am intelligent and hardworking, so I can be successful in anything I set my mind to. I think that others love that I am trustworthy and a very supportive, caring, person. I also consider myself to be pretty self confident and secure of myself.
Which of your senses is the most important to you? What would you do without it?
I would say that my sight is most important to me. I think that not being able to see would make things very difficult for me. I don't know how I would handle not being able to read or drive or enjoy all of the beautiful sights that the world has to offer. If I couldn't see, I would probably try and get more engaged in music since my hearing would still be working, but it would be challenging since I wouldn't be able to read music. I think I would also try to involve myself in things that include other blind people so that I would have people that understood what i was going through.
How do you see yourself? How do you think others see you?
I'd say that I'm pretty self confident and consider myself as beautiful. I definitely have my days where I feel insecure, but my overall self image is very positive. I think that others' views of me probably vary, but I think that most people would agree that I'm pretty. People have definitely said mean things about my image before, but I try not to let it get to me.
Do you treat people as they are, or as they ought to be?
I think I treat people as they ought to be. My mom sets really high standards for me, since she expects me to excel in most things. I follow this principle for most of my friends, especially my best friend. I know she has the potential to do great in anything she sets her mind to, and a lot of times I find myself pushing her and treating her like she should do better in school than she does. I know that she may find it annoying, but overall I think it does push her to try her hardest.
How were you taught to tell the truth?
When I was in Kindergarten, my best friend took some blocks from our classroom and asked me to hold them for her after school. She left before I could give them back to her and I ended up taking them home. My mom saw me with them when I was getting ready for bed, and I lied to her about what they were (but she obviously already knew). She made me apologize to my teacher the next morning for taking them and didn't let me watch TV for a week. That was how I learned not to lie and not to steal (and to not hold things for people that I knew were bad).
Have your parents ever practiced "long division" on you and your friends?
I think "long division" would be making a friend/significant other leave, and if that's what it means, then no. If my parents think my friend(s) should leave, they usually hint at it to me, and then I tell my friend. They don't ever abruptly tell my friends to leave or physically kick them out, but then again they've never caught me kissing anyone or anything like that. If they did then they might practice "long division" on us.
When has a friend opened up a whole new world for you?
My friend Nia opened up a whole new world for me. When we became friends in 6th grade, I befriended her through band and becoming friends with her opened up friendship opportunities with a bunch of other people too. Had I not become friends with her, I probably wouldn't be close with some of my best friends now. I was always really stuck up during elementary school and I didn't have many friends. Once I got to middle school and befriended Nia, I changed my attitude and was able to gain many more friends!
What is the most important advice you have ever received?
The most important advice that I've been given is that hard work pays off. I've learned that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to as long as I work at it. My mom is the person who gave me the advice and I really took it to heart. I know that if I really want something, I can get it if I work hard enough.
What was the stupidest thing you have ever done? Did someone persuade you to do it?
The stupidest thing I have ever done was in 5th grade with one of my best friends and a kid a year younger than us. We all went to an after school daycare program and one day decided that it was a good idea to sniff sharpies. We arranged a day and decided who was going to bring them. We all knew it was a bad thing and that we had to hide it (but being 5th graders, we didn't really know how bad). As we hid under the playground, one of the younger kids tattled on us and on of the daycare counselors came over and busted us (before anyone actually sniffed the sharpies). We all got in loads of trouble-both with the daycare and with our parents. My mom and Dad also gave me a huge lecture and I learned my lesson. This was stupid because I was naive enough to not really know why people sniffed sharpies, but I knew it was wrong and still planned to do it.
Topic of choice
Tomorrow is my Solo and Ensemble competition for Band. I'm doing a solo as well as an ensemble. I feel pretty confident with my solo, and I have it memorized. You have to have your solo memorized in order to qualify to advance to State Solo and Ensemble. I advanced last year, so I'm hoping to continue the trend. My ensemble on the other hand, I'm pretty nervous for. We can't seem to nail our transitions and its overall a little messy. We are also missing a person, so I don't know if we'll even be able to advance. I am also having a sleepover with 3 of my best friends tonight, which will be a lot of fun. We haven't had the chance to all hang out in a really long time so I'm looking forward to it.
What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
I wish that I knew that drama with boys and friends was temporary and that it wasn't the end of the world. Throughout middle school and part of freshman year, there was always so much dumb drama between my friend group. I used to take it to heart and get really upset over it. I know now that all friend groups go through phases, but real friends stick by you through rough patches. I have a group of 3 girls that are my best friends now and we've definitely had our ups and downs. Boy drama used to also stress me out but I know now that it's really not that serious. Knowing what I know now would have been helpful and saved me a lot of stress over drama.
Have you ever decided to leave someone behind? How did it feel?
In 3rd grade, I met a girl who's name was Gabby. She and I became best friends and were practically attached at the hip. Our mom's were close, and we were always having sleepovers. After Elementary School, her parents sent her to a private middle school. We remained close but it was hard, since we didn't see each other as often. In 8th Grade, she moved to San Antonio and we decided to leave each other behind. Although it was hard, we had grown apart and had developed other friends.
What is the most frightening thing that has happened to you? How did you live through it?
I think the most frightening thing that has happened to me was when my parents got divorced. It was scary for me since I was so young and I didn't really understand what was happening. It took me a while to come to terms with it but I lived through it by talking with my mom a lot and having her explain what was happening to me. Over the years, it didn't seem like a such a big deal anymore and I developed friends that also had divorced parents, which also helped me deal with the situation.
Have you ever received an anonymous gift? Have your ever given one? How did it feel?
I have never received an anonymous gift. I have given an anonymous gift by paying for the person in line behind me and things like that. It felt good to do that because I knew it would make that person happy and I hoped that they would also pass that on at some point. Doing nice things for people, especially ones you don't know, always feels good and makes you happy that you're making someone else happy.
What do you try to do "perfectly"? What happens?
I don't have anything that I try to do "perfectly." All the activities and things I do, I definitely try hard to do them and I work hard at them but I don't try to do them perfectly because i know that being perfect is impossible. I am satisfied with how I do things as long as I know I have tried my hardest.
What is the best thing you have seen teenagers do lately?
The best thing I've seen teenagers do lately is be accepting of others and having an open mind to people and their backgrounds. Teenagers now are much more welcoming and supportive of people that could be labeled as "different." Teenagers are also less afraid to stand up against bullying and are more inclined to back someone up when they are being teased.
What are your spring break plans?
This spring break is going to be pretty uneventful. I am spending this weekend with one of my best friends and her family, while my parents are in Zapata. On Sunday I'm going back home and I'm not sure what our plans are for Monday or Tuesday, however I need to practice parallel parking because I'm taking the test for my Driver's License on Wednesday! Thursday and Friday I'm babysitting, but have dinner plans with one of my friends on Thursday. Saturday night I'm having a sleepover with 4 of my best friends!
What did you do over Spring Break?
The first weekend of Spring Break was probably the most interesting. I spent Friday-Sunday with my best friend and her family and we went to her confirmation as well as some shopping and watched a few movies. On Sunday I went back home and did laundry as well as just relaxed on Monday. On Tuesday I went to eat with my family and drove down to New Braunfels to practice parallel parking at the DPS. Wednesday I took my Driving Test and thankfully, I passed! I also ran some errands on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday I babysat and did house chores, then Saturday was a shopping day! Yesterday just consisted of cleaning up around the house and getting ready to come back to school today!
Do you know anyone who has made a major change in his or her behavior for the better? What caused them to change?
I don't think I know anyone that has made a major change in their life for the better. I think someone would need to have a large motivation to make a drastic lifestyle change. Sometimes family or friends are the motivation that people need.
What is the best thing you have ever written? What is the best thing ever written to you?
I think the best thing I have ever written has been an essay for a program I was applying to. It was about my mother and her hard work and how that has been reflected unto me. When my mom read it, she cried. The best thing that has ever been written to me was a birthday card from one of my best friends. It described many memories that we share and lots of little things about our friendship over the years. It made me feel really nice when I read it, knowing that I have a true friend in her.
When have you needed a friend most? Was someone there for you? When has a friend needed you? Were you there for your friend?
I needed a friend most when my parents were going through a rough patch and were always fighting. My best friends were there for me and supported me as well as tried to take my mind off of things. My best friend needed me when her dog died. I was there for her and tried to console her while she was upset.
What is the balance of your personal bank account? Are you rich or bankrupt?
The balance of my personal bank account shows that I am rich. I do many acts of kindness and when I say that I will do something, I always make sure to follow through. I consider myself to be a kind, trustworthy, and dependable person.
Have you ever made a resolution? What was it? When did you make it? Did you follow through with it? What resolution do you want to make now?
I've made many resolutions in the past but I've only really stuck with one. About a year and a half ago I made the resolution to not drink sodas anymore. I followed through with it and I think I've only had about a handful of sodas between then and now, where as I used to drink several a week. Now I want to make the resolution to not eat fast food, but I know that one will be very difficult.
What is the secret of your success? What is the one thing you do that makes you successful?
The secret to my success is working really hard at anything that I do. If I set my mind to something, I know that I can achieve it as long as I work hard. This is something that my family has ingrained in me since I was really small.
For whom can you make life less difficult today?
Today I can make life less difficult for my mom. I can try to help her around the house by doing chores and I can help her by taking care of my little sister. Hopefully helping her like this will make her life easier today.
Do you pretend to be someone or something that you are not? Why?
I don't pretend to be someone that I'm not. I believe that I should not have to pretend to be someone that I'm not. The people that I surround myself with accept me for who I am and I don't have to be someone else for them to accept me. If someone has to pretend to be someone else, perhaps they should change who they surround themselves with instead of who they are.
How are you unlike any other person? What makes you unique and different from everyone else?
I am unlike any other person because what I think, say, and do is different than other people. Although my friends and I are similar, none of us are exactly alike. We all have characteristics and hobbies that differentiate us from the others. A lot of who we are as people also is defined by how we were raised and what our family life is like. None of my friends and I have the exact same family dynamic, making us different already. I'd like to think that although I do follow trends and I'm not completely and totally different from everyone else, I'm still my own unique person.
What unhealthy habit would like to break? Have you already tried to break it? How?
I would like to break the unhealthy habit of biting my nails. I haven't already tried to break it, but I would start by painting my nails more often. By painting my nails it would deter me from wanting to bite them since they would be colored and I wouldn't want to mess them up. Hopefully I can try and do that.
Are you carrying around "barnacles" in the form of mistakes, regrets, and pain from the past? How could you let go of these burdens.
I think that at this point in my life I'm not carrying around "Barnacles" from the past. I'm living pretty free of regrets and I don't have many mistakes that I've made that I hold against myself. Over the years I've learned that regret and holding things against yourself are just not good for you in general, so I try not to do it.
Have you ever been "burned" by a bad experience? Has a bad experience ever transformed you and turned you into a new person?
I guess I could say that an experience that burned me was when my parents separated. I don't think it necessarily transformed me as a person, but it definitely affected me greatly. It made me appreciate time with my dad more and gave me an outlook on relationships and really on life at a really young age.
Topic of Choice
The year is supposed to be winding down by now, but things seem to be escalating overall. In the next couple weeks, I have band auditions, student leader applications, officer elections, drum major try outs, and an AP test. Until May 15, it is going to be VERY stressful for me, and I'm also applying for jobs for the summer! Hopefully I can accomplish everything I want and not go crazy in the meantime.
Is there anything you hate doing, but you do it anyway because it makes you a better person? What is it?
I hate doing house chores for my parents. I do it anyway, because I know that it makes my mom happy and in two years I'll be living on my own and all the chores I do will be in my own dorm/apartment. Doing chores makes me more responsible and teaches me good lessons, therefore making me a better person.
What situation in your life requires win-win thinking?
I would say that being a student leader in Band requires win-win thinking. I like to succeed myself and perform well, but I also want the band program as a whole to succeed. This means that I have to make sure that I am practicing and doing well, but I also have to make sure that anyone who needs help is also doing okay, whether that means other people in my section or even just underclassmen in general.