by EVELYN WONG
Many students consider the transition from intermediate school to high school an enormous leap; according to freshman Kobe Mia Rico, making the transition from homeschool to high school is life-changing.
Rico had been enrolled in the Community Home Education Program (CHEP), an independent study program from the Orange County Department of Education, since kindergarten.
“My mom mainly taught me, but since everything was out of the textbooks we received, I was able to do independent studying,” said Rico.
In eighth grade, Rico decided to complete her independent study program and enroll in a public high school, where grades are a major factor in applying for college.
“Since I am a little older now, I feel my parents can trust me to make more mature decisions,” said Rico.
On the first day of school, while many other freshmen formed groups consisting of their “middle school friends,” Rico was beginning to adjust to public school life.
“The first day of school was really scary; although I knew some people from my basketball league, it was hard for me to make friends,” Rico said.
By the end of her first week, however, she was able to become more accustomed to going to school with hundreds of other students.
“I felt like it was easy to adapt, but I’m still overwhelmed by how many students there are,” she said.
According to Rico, being homeschooled and attending public school have many differences, but they are equally enjoyable.
“Being homeschooled, I was able to sleep in and be on a more relaxed schedule, whereas for regular school, I must study vigorously, wake up at 6:30 and stay super-focused,” she said.
With a different background from that of her peers, Rico has been able to reflect on both high school and home school experiences.
“I would say I like going to regular school better than being homeschooled, since I’m able to learn at a more challenging pace, have fun and make new friends,” she said.
Although Rico may seem to be far from the typical freshman, she has many goals, just like her classmates do.
“My goals for freshman year are to earn straight A’s in all my classes, participate in at least one or two clubs, have a fun basketball season, make lots of friends and just have fun enjoying my high school experience,” said Rico.
Experiencing public school for the first time, Rico hopes to succeed both academically and athletically; however, what she wants to accomplish most is to find her place in the enormous sea of students.