High School Experience – Anya Pennisi

Unfortunately due to the world wide circumstances, I took it upon myself to reach out to one of our very own Apex High seniors, Anya Pennisi to help sum up her senior and highschool years. Anya answered some questions covering her high school career and much more! 

Describe your high school experience. 

As a runner, I think of my high school experience like a 400-meter dash, every 100 meters representing a different year. The 400 is by no means easy but almost starts off like it was fairly easy until you hit the 200 meter mark; then it’s like hitting a wall, and you have to push past your limits to get to the final stretch, which definitely describes my junior year. But high school had its ups and downs; just like life, sports were a bright highlight of my four years. It was an experience I believe that pushed me to a place I never thought I would see myself entering my freshman year four  years ago. I think the best way to describe this is: struggle but growth. 

If someone offered you all the money in the world, would you take it if it meant not getting the same experience you had during your years in highschool?

Never, I think that the experiences are so much more valuable than money and living in the moment and enjoying the times I am given is so much more meaningful. It shows how much someone can grow in the course of four years, while building lasting memories and friendships.

What’s one word you’d use to describe your senior year?

Other than short, I’d say my senior year was fulfilling. There are so many unique things that happened- shout out to my AP Psychology group- which I talk about fondly with friends, enjoying the laughs.

What’s the hardest thing having to say goodbye to your school?

There are too many moments and groups at Apex High School that I loved and will have a hard time saying goodbye, but the Apex High people and community will be missed the most.

What are some of your favorite memories from your freshmen and sophomore year?

Freshman – Our performing arts program had the annual pops concert at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The whole process of getting to the performance, especially trying to fit the entirety of the academic concert band program onto the small stage for the rehearsal, was so much fun. I’m pretty sure that was the first concert that didn’t have cockroaches in the audience. 

Sophomore – I will never forget the run I went on in cross country with a couple of senior friends where we had an entire conversation about food during a six-mile  run. It was the first run I experienced a topic that started by passionately talking about fruit.

What are some of your favorite memories from your junior and senior year?

Junior – I was actually a member of the newspaper crew, and I LOVED that class so much. It is probably one of my favorite classes in high school. The random conversation topics and funny moments that I had in newspaper with my friends and Mrs. McGee are some of the best memories that I have from high school. I also competed in the state meet for cross country, which was such an amazing experience.

Senior – Competing in the state meet for indoor track and field for the 4×800 meter relay, where each person in the relay runs roughly half a mile. Our relay team worked really hard because we knew we had a chance to place and maybe even reach a school record. The race was nerve-wracking, and I couldn’t bring myself to watch at some parts, but in the end we placed third in the state, running the second best time for the event in Apex High history. Standing on the podium with my teammates will always be one of the best feelings I ever experienced.

Is highschool anything what you thought it would be?

Hollywood definitely made high school much more dramatic and hyped up than it actually was, at least for me. I’ve had so many fun experiences and met people I know I remain friends with past high school, but there was almost never as much drama as you see in the movies.

Has your life changed a lot since the first day of your highschool career?

Tremendously, I am much more open and social than I was on the first day of high school. The people I have met throughout high school have introduced me to activities and new hobbies that I now love and have helped push me to bring myself out of my shell.

What’re some student activities like sports or the arts you participated and took part in over the years?

I ran cross country and track and field- indoor and outdoor- for four years, all twelve possible seasons possible in high school. I was also a member in the band program, spending two  years in the wind ensemble, which has concerts throughout the year.

What is something you’ll miss about high school?

I never thought I’d say I would miss the early morning classes, but here I am. I feel like some of my greatest and most random memories are from classes starting at 7:25 or 7:10 in the morning. First period always brought some fun memories, even if I was half-asleep.

What was your greatest achievement? 

I think surviving high school is worth mentioning all on its own, but pushing myself to meet a new level was my greatest accomplishment, no matter what I was working towards. I believe that having achieved some form of internal goal has longer lasting effects and have helped me develop a work ethic that will carry through for the rest of my life. 

If there was ever a chance to take any part of your highschool career back and you were given the chance to redo it, what would that be? And if not, why wouldn’t you?

As many regrets that I have from high school, I don’t think I would change anything from my experiences because those decisions and experiences are what defined me as who I am today. If I didn’t experience those regrets, then I don’t think I would’ve accomplished nearly as much as I have and I feel that changing something small can have a snowball effect that completely alters who I am today.

 

Anya, it was a pleasure interviewing you and not only as a fellow classmate, but you being one of my closest friends, it’s been a pleasure growing and running alongside you during the time we had. I’m more than thankful to have been given the chance to meet you and learn from you! We all wish you the best of luck in college and we can’t wait to see all of the places you take off too and things you accomplish!

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