Alek Zayas-Dorchak Senior Columns

Alek Zayas-Dorchak

     Looking back on my four years at Cedar Park High School, everything seems like it happened yesterday. At the same time, the major milestones of my high school career seemed to have occurred eons ago, to someone very different than myself, who somehow still bore the name Alek Zayas-Dorchak.

     Four years of anything can change a body and a mind drastically, especially in a challenging and rewarding environment like CPHS. I believe I’ve definitely become a better person, if not simply an individual more apt to deal with anything life can deal out. Through the overall curriculum of CPHS, as well as the gang of incredible teachers I was lucky enough to study under throughout the four years, I have come to master the English language as well as develop a taste for fine literature; to be able to utilize the basic math concepts that one is apt to actually use on a daily basis; to learn the patterns of history so as not to repeat them; to be able to utilize the scientific method so as to solve any problem; and to be able to deftly defend any side of an argument I may take, among many other skills.

     The Home of the Timberwolves opened me up to a plethora of different and rewarding opportunities that have really helped to shape me into the person I am today. I was given the opportunity to participate on two of our great athletic teams my underclass years, Cross-Country and Tennis. These really solidified for me what it meant to be a team player, and how to get along with others. This sounds like such a trivial skill to develop, but in all reality it is something that not everyone has and yet everyone should develop. Last, but of course not least, two years of a rigorous athletic regimen also kept me well in shape.

     On a more academic note, the number of college-level AP tests I’ve taken throughout my high school career has also prepared me well for the classes I will be taking in college. While I will be the first to admit that there have been several classes that I have honestly done pretty poorly in, the classes themselves have still contributed to my general knowledge and experience with higher-level concepts. I dropped out of AP Statistics, but I learned how to tell a well-conducted political poll from a poor one. I just barely hung on in AP Macroeconomics, but I learned how to live within my means and how to spend and invest my money wisely. In addition, having taken so many Advanced Placement classes and having done as well in many of them as I did, I was offered scholarships to a number of accredited colleges and universities all over the country. I eventually settled on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to which I was offered a nearly full ride scholarship, as well as being accepted to the prestigious Honors Program.

     This leads me to the final part of this last column I will ever write as a staff reporter for The Wolfpack.  In six months’ time, I will be by myself, over 800 miles away from home, friends and family, in the middle of an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar state in a sea of corn and unfamiliar faces. The past several months have seen a lot of moodiness and anxiety over not only going away to become a “Cornhusker,” but also looking forward to another several years of high-level academia. The last four years at CPHS have been the most tumultuous and beneficial years of my entire life so far. CPHS and the staff that make it what it is have all done their job to prepare for life in the greater world, in my specific case, life at UNL. From now on, success in the greater world will depend solely on what I have taken from my years as a Cedar Park Timberwolf, and on my ability to put them to good use.