The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Senior Column: Michael Hum


Here we go again—it’s 3 a.m. at the time of writing, and I’m doing what any sane person would do at this hour. As I write, I’m adjusting the keyboard height of my typewriter, animating a large language model program like I’m Frankenstein, and tracking music for my cousin’s album project. It’s a long story. Some say that sleep is the cousin of death. If that’s the case, I’m death’s in-law. Reader, if there is some description that I can use to describe the absurdity of my current life, I don’t have it.

News flash, student doomscrolling this nocturnal ramble; despite what others may say, I’m not a great representation of the “Apache academic” trope here. I do not have a 4.5 GPA, have twenty-something extracurriculars affiliated with AHS, and haven’t sunken my ever-shortening childhood in tutoring classes or cram schools. My total extracurricular count is only in the teens, my GPA is terrible, and I’m the Nosferatu of academic teams here.

 If I take a page from every high school movie and make cliques for AHS, I straddle between the programmers and the polymaths. I’m the chemistry tutor, the tech support, the cinematographer, and much more, though I’m focused on app development and programming. So, what’s my high school experience here? As I faced the eventual completion of my high school life, I was to remember that distant morning when I first set up my camera and microphone for online high school.

Freshman year was a period of limbo. My introversion made solitary confinement seem less like capital punishment and more like a utopia. Quarantine was okay for me. I rediscovered many hobbies, made new friends, and spent my off time starting extracurricular activities that would eventually take up most of my time outside school. Think about it like the calm before a storm.

My sophomore and junior years were my descent through the circles of academic hell, where academic progression rules above all. Since I found my relationship with time, I chose most of my classes because of opportunity cost, which meant questioning the exigence of all the classes here and then taking the lessons I believed were the most worthwhile with the best compromise for time and effort. Notice how nothing is because of passion. Luckily, I survived with five hard APs and did well on the exams. 

My senior year seemed less like the last hurrah and more like a final rush to the finish. I sped through the lower circles of hell with college applications. I still ponder why I chose to apply to the upper 1% of schools…as a computer science major…directly to the engineering school. Is my Sisyphus complex that severe? I then emerged from academic hell and sped through academic purgatory. I finally took the classes I was passionate about, mainly math and science, and survived the respective exams. I’m at the Academic Paradise now. To finally conclude this extended metaphor, I believe I will ascend that sphere of fire in space soon known as college. 

I’ve learned from being here that I can combine the whimsical antics I do outside of school and academically difficult school experiences and come out ahead. To exemplify this, one time in junior year, I was studying for APs while filing a 1098 tax form entirely by hand. Or this other time, I submitted all my early decision college apps while I lit my repair shop for trick-or-treating last Halloween. I wish I were clickbaiting you, Reader. I learned that I have a crazy amount of resilience. Lastly, I realized that the best way to destress myself is to make fun of myself. I know that laughter is medicine, but I’ve been overdosing on it. So, thank you, AHS, for making these come to light.

It’s 5 a.m. now; I’m exhausted beyond comprehension, and the sun is rising. Amidst the conflict the future may bring, I also hope it brings many bright moments that I, too, can reflect on in five years. However, I should probably sleep now. So long, and thanks for all the fish.




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