The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



For Better and For Worse Rigorous Courses Seem to Impact Students at SLOHS


  As the school year wraps up, seniors finish the last of their classes and say goodbye to SLOHS. Photo courtesy of SLOHS Yearbook.


  At San Luis Obispo High School, students take many different approaches to academics, and by senior year some students are quite accomplished. These students may take many APs and other rigorous courses, but how does their high school experience differ from other students?

  Expressions interviewed high-ranking students to understand how their academic approach defined their experiences.

Expressions: How would you describe your high-school experience?

Senior Christine Seng: A big part of my high school experience has just been academics. Taking honors classes and AP classes was important, but another thing I also did was I took a lot of computer science classes and I think that was really impactful in helping shape my career choices and who I am. 

Senior Camilo Baltodano: A lot of it involved school, even taking hard classes and doing a lot of extracurriculars, but I kept myself busy and I enjoyed it. I felt very fulfilled throughout my time in high school.

Senior Andy Shen: Very enlightening for sure because I had to collaborate in environments with people of different backgrounds and ethnicities. I’ve also definitely been very motivated to learn from my parents because of peer pressure, but also because I want to collaborate and improve the school culture as well. 

Expressions: What is your outlook on learning and academics?

Seng: I just found myself enjoying the honors and AP classes more. A big part of it for me is the people in the classes that I’m able to have better conversations with, and I really appreciate that.

Baltodano: I’ve pretty much found interest in every single one of my classes in some way. [I’ve gone] into each class with an open mind and worked hard and then just enjoyed the material that I was taught.

Shen: Education, especially academics, is very valuable for students because it definitely sets a foundation for inspiring them to look forward to the future and learn a lot. There’s definitely a lot that the school environment has to offer in preparing students for their future endeavors.

Expressions: What were your hardest and easiest classes?

Seng: My hardest class was AP Euro. It was my first humanities AP class and it was just so much work and so much writing. That was the class that really taught me how to manage my time well, and how to read textbooks and all the important things. My easiest class was maybe Exploring Computer Science. I made a lot of great friends in that class, but it was pretty easy.

Baltodano: Either AP Spanish Literature or AP Calculus was pretty hard. Tenth grade English Honors was pretty easy.

Shen: My choir classes were definitely on the easier side because I’ve been in choir before and I learned theory from a couple of professors and teachers. Most difficult classes I’ll definitely say AP Chem because there’s a lot of labs and having to adapt to those, like the safety and having all the materials prepared for blind person like myself is definitely challenging, but, it was informative too.

Expressions: What class or teacher/administrator made the biggest impact on you?

Seng: Mr. Crow, he just did such a good job of introducing me to the topic. He always made me feel very welcome and I never felt scared because I didn’t know as much as other people in that class. 

Baltodano: Three teachers: Mr. Perry, Mrs. Arata, and Mr. Ross, who are all in the social sciences department. That’s my favorite subject and they were all some of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

Shen: The teacher who made the biggest impact on me personally, is Mr. Simon who retired, but he’s definitely helped me develop a writing voice and really show respect to people around me. He always believed in me, he encouraged me, and he looked at me as a lightness in the classroom so I always felt inspired by that.

Expressions: Do you feel connected to SLOHS, or did focusing on academics harm your social life?

Seng: I was part of the Tri-M Music Club and Chess Club. I think those were all really great experiences and I’m really glad I did them.

Baltodano: Absolutely. I didn’t do any sports, I did nerd sports basically. I did Mock Trial and Model Congress. National Honor Society was super fun too, and I met some of the best people there. I felt really involved with my community and I was able to know a lot of people so I definitely don’t feel like I sacrificed my social life to do well academically.

Shen: I am involved in jazz band. We do a lot of cool fundraisers and stuff like that as a band and I got quite engaged in that experience. I also joined FCA Club because it involves really understanding connections with God. Being Christian myself, it definitely attaches me to the heavenly world that we exist in and the possible spiritual paths.

Expressions: What are your plans for after high-school?

Seng: I’m going to Baylor University. It’s in Waco, Texas, and I’m majoring in computer science.

Baltodano: I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to pursue a major in sociology on a pre-law track to hopefully become a lawyer judge.

Shen: I plan to go to Stanford and study music composition and technology. 

  Congratulations to these high-achievers, Expressions wishes all seniors the best of luck!

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Vyolet Burrus, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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