Raul Campos

Before coming to SAS, my teachers warned me it was going to be like nothing I had ever experienced; they spoke of hours after hours of non-stop work. They warned failure was a possibility and that if I ever did fail, I wouldn’t be able to return to my old high school due to the magnet policy. All their comments made me scared of what I was getting into, and truthfully, they didn’t lie. At SAS, I had to put forth 200 percent of myself to survive, but it was worth it.

SAS is like no other school. We are offered to have half our schedule be college classes and the other half AP classes. Look left or right; you were taking high-level courses. If you are like me and like to challenge yourself, you may spend 10+ hours in school or take 5 math classes in a semester by working them into your college class schedule. AP classes don’t slack off either. SAS teachers will demand your best; they will push you. Some exams you take to practice for the AP exams may be even more challenging than the actual AP exam. 

I am not saying any of this to frighten you. If my entire class survived, so can you. And let me tell you, in the end, when you get to stand on that stage not only with your high school diploma but also with your associate’s and possibly even more, you will realize it was all worth it. When you get into your dream college, when you start seeing your own potential, when you look around after SAS and notice just how much more prepared you are than the rest of the population, you will see it was all worth it.

Now, I know I made it sound like I didn’t have time to relax or enjoy myself, but that is not the case. At SAS, I met people I hope to always keep by my side (shout out to my non-blood brother Mauricio, who drove to my house the day I got into MIT just to hug me). I made a group of friends with which I made unforgettable memories. I will never forget going to the gym with them in the morning, playing pickleball during our research period, or even the weekend airsoft gatherings. They were always there for me on my lowest moments to lift me up and on my best moments to celebrate with me. And this was only the students, not even to mention the teachers and counselors. 

SAS teachers couldn’t be more friendly and caring. Don’t worry if you ever slip and call one of them “mom,” they do care just as much as a mother. They all will push you to your limits to help you grow while ensuring you are hanging there. You would never imagine how much some cried that last day of school as we were going away.

SAS lives up to its title of “Dream Factory.” In the end, it was thanks to all I found in this second home that I achieved my dreams. It was thanks to SAS that I was made aware of life-changing opportunities such as WISE (the MIT fly-in program), in which I met two of the most wonderful people ever. It was thanks to SAS that I was able to showcase my community service activities and be nominated as a Silver Knight (thank you, Mr. Lindsay). 

It was thanks to SAS that I was able to beat the odds and, as an immigrant with no knowledge of college applications, get into my dream university, MIT. I am more than grateful for SAS. I can confidently say that I made the right choice in my junior year to take the leap, the risk, and start all over at SAS.

Raul Campos
School for Advanced Studies Kendall Campus, Class of 2023
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Class of 2027