Sunday, April 1, 2012

Project Space: Essay

For this essay, I would like to discuss the effects of elementary, middle-high school, and college on an individual’s space. Transitions between schools can truly be a stressful situation for someone, especially if they are not well informed on what’s to come in the approaching years. I would like to give my take on how these school years affected my own personal space in comparison to the different school settings. Schools will noticeably vary from public to private institutions, as well as charter schools, and the vast array of many universities, but I would like to speak about the only two institutions in my life that I have attended.  This includes an Armenian private school called AGBU which carried out elementary, middle school, and high school. I am currently attending Cal-State Northridge.
Although all settings were featured in the same learning institution at AGBU (Armenian General Benevolent Union), the transitions between each setting still put pressure on most of the kids. Regarding my space in elementary, I felt free for the most part as I was not a demanding child. Discipline was never a problem for me as I would attend Tae Kwon Do for throughout all my elementary/middle school years, so I definitely knew how not to act out of place. I made new friends every year and had some of the greatest childhood memories in this school. Each year we only had one individual teacher that offered her guidance as we progressed through the months. I believe it was in my last year of elementary school when lockers were introduced. This was the first significant change to my space as we always kept our books and belongings in our desks. The courses were not much of a burden to me, as I knew school was my priority and would accomplish all my tasks at hand. I thought of school as my job, and had a great mindset as a child. My parents influence was strong on my mentality as I absorbed their teachings like a sponge, ironically much more than what was actually taught to me in school. Not many kids complained in elementary as the first five years of school had flown by. My friends and I felt comfortable in this setting as we were anxious for what was to come. We had no worries and not many pressures and like many other kids, elementary was more of a joyous experience than any other schooling institution. It defined a small percentage of our lives, but I would love to speak for all kids when I say that memories are created in one’s elementary years that will surely never be forgotten.
Middle school on the other hand was a different beast to conquer. These years were not only more challenging but more stressful. Suddenly this environment, my personal space, felt disrupted. Throughout these years, physical education was a requirement and acted as a strong burden in my life. Running a mile twice a week was enforced throughout physical education, which made me truly despise this course. I began acting out when an instructor told me to begin running a mile. Sometimes I would simply not run and face the consequences. As I began feeling this affliction on my personal space, I became more rebellious. I was not alone in my rebellious state, as my friends had my back in these dreadful years. Throughout the last couple years of middle school, many changes began to take place in AGBU. The faculties that we knew and loved were fired for reasons that are still unknown to us until this day. This caused a very negative impact on both students and families as the future of AGBU was not looking bright. There was talk amongst many students about leaving to a public high school or any other different institution. As high school came along, many students did leave with some being my closest friends. My parents offered to take me to a public school, but at the time I did not want to accept change. I thought four years would be able to fly be, but this quickly became one of my greatest regrets as junior and senior year came along. High School did not enforce students to participate in physical education which was definitely a plus in my eyes. I tried to make the best out of my high school experience, although AGBU was drastically different then a public school setting. I often associated with public school kids as I was very active with trying to form bands. As I visited their schools, I suddenly felt like I was imprisoned in my harsh and authoritarian private school. I witnessed how my friends from other schools had such a wide range of space, seeing new faces daily and experiencing the real effect of a high school. I craved the feeling of seeing and meeting new people every day, as I was more than sick of the simple-minded and materialistic people that surrounded me. I wanted to be able to choose my own classes and be more involved with music both on my spare time and at school. I basically wanted to be surrounded by music at all given times of the day. I wanted to make productive use of my time and keep expanding my knowledge of all genres of music as I began composing non-stop in my junior year of high school. I formed my bands and played countless shows, but school still acted as more of an obstacle instead of something that would help define my musical career and help me in the long run. However, at the end of my senior year my troubles came to an end as it was time to begin my first year at a university.
I chose to go to CSUN because it was not only nearby, but it had an incredible music program. To be honest, my space and my life changed completely for the better as I began attending this university. I began taking music classes immediately and started building upon my musical knowledge. A university is just what I needed to expand my mind while keeping my stress at a minimum level. The space at CSUN is the space I desired from the moment I began high school. I love seeing new faces and associating with many different kinds of people. However, I wanted to see what type of environment my friends were in, so I visited some at different universities. I visited some friends at Pepperdine University and asked them a few questions and made a comparison in my thoughts to the college I attend to. Pepperdine is an independent, private university. My friends immediately told me one thing that stood out to them was that it was significantly more difficult than high school. Every course required them to put it a vast amount of effort even in their freshman year. They spoke about how convenient it is to be by the Malibu Beach, and how they use it as an escape to ease their minds at difficult times. I also thought that being next to the beach is an incredible way to calm your soul when you need a change of scenery. I compared these points to CSUN and thought to myself that being a Cal State school; so far this year has not put a significant weight on my shoulders. My space is not disrupted and I am significantly happier as I attend CSUN. In these seven months of attending this university, I realized that I already learned double the amount of all four years of high school combined. Every professor I’ve had acts as a knowledgeable and influential figure in my life that has redefined my learning experience. I have already met some of the friendliest and cultured people while attending CSUN, and am more than anxious to see what’s to come in the forthcoming years. I have a strong feeling that this university is going to shape who I become and cause a truly positive impact on my space, much unlike high school.
Conclusively, I feel honored and comfortable with my space as I attend Cal State Northridge. Different institutions caused stressful situations in my life, but I am blessed to have a loving family, nice hearted friends, and great professors to make both my personal space and my overall life a better place. 

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