Short story about high school experiences in Baldwin City, Kansas.
-by Alper Ahmed, YES Alumni 17-18
My name is Alper Ahmed and I am a YES Alumni from generation 18′. I was placed in Baldwin City, Kansas and went to Baldwin High School. For American teenagers high school takes a huge part of their daily lives from sports and extracurricular activities to homework and papers you need to get done. It’s the same way with exchange students, the only difference is you can use the excuse “I’m an exchange student” for anything.
Finding friends can be difficult in a completely new environment but one of the best possible ways to do so is by joining sports and clubs. Different schools have different sports and clubs. The Fall sports for boys that my school offered were soccer (football) and Cross Country (CC). I joined the cross country team and really got to understand what a team spirit really means. A lot of sports have daily practices and CC was one of them. Every sport has meets, competitions or tournaments against other schools from the area and state. They could start as early as 6 A.M which could mean waking up at 4 A.M, getting ready and traveling an hour.
If playing a sport is not your strength, the coaches are always looking for managers who could help out the team and make it easier for everyone. This is exactly what I did during the winter season. I’m not good in basketball nor can I wrestle, so I managed basketball for the girls. I would have to fill up water bottles, run the game clock, keep the score, etc. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the U.S.A and that’s also true for high school and schools love playing against each other, so we had almost two or 3 meets each week during the Basketball season. Spring sports season is the one that gives you most options, at least in my school. I decided to take part in Tennis and I very much enjoyed it. The only downside that it had was the Spring sport season being far shorter than the Fall and Winter ones.
There are many possibilities for becoming a part of a club depending on your interests. Art, public speaking, crafts, FBLA, Stand up to Cancer, international club, anime, scholar’s bowl, etc.
American Football: where all the students gather in one section of the tribune, dress coded in their most outrageous but at the same time amusing outfits that they have. And that happens at many other sport events where the students want to show their support for their team. Being a part of an audience of this kind was also one of the many reasons how I got to understand and really take upon myself the team spirit that American high school students have.
Another, really fun and exciting part about the schools in America is the DANCES. Back to School, The Homecoming Dance, the Halloween Dance, Winter Formal, etc. The school dances are probably the funniest and most entertaining thing that you could be a part of in a school cafeteria. This is when you could Whip and Nae Nae and listen to the best hip hop hits from the 00s while dancing in your Halloween costume. The school dances are an irreplaceable part of the American high school experience. Before every major dance there is something called Spirit Week, where each day of the week the students are supposed to be dressed with specific outfits which could be PJ day, Fashion disaster day, Funny socks day and many more.
If I was to tell you all the things about American High Schools it would probably take me days, that is why you need to apply for the YES program and try your best at getting to experience it all your way first hand. Thank you for your attention!
Apply now for YES scholarship if you want to live and study in USA for the 2018-2019 academic year on: ais.americancouncils.org/yes
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