1. What has been your favorite memory at AES?
The most memorable moments I will take away from AES are the free periods that I got to spend making new friends. Another memory that I will likely remember in the future is of me and my friends in band class, and the various trips the school offered to other countries.
2. How has leadership at AES shaped you?
As a leader, there is typically a conflict between the leader we aspire to be and the leader we actually are. Those I am leading have a better sense of who I actually am as a leader. Therefore, it is important to me to be open to constructive criticism and feedback on how my leadership style impacts others. I have found that my sense of self and my perception of my abilities greatly shape how I am as a leader. My personality, especially the person I aspire to be, also plays a role in how I help inspire and unite others to work collaboratively.
As a leader, I value honesty, transparency, relationships, communication, hard work, and fun. Being a leader has taught me many wonderful lessons, and also been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. While it has been an honor to be the President of The National Honor Society and Vice President of Tri-M Music Honor Society, I strive to not take the title too seriously. I am more concerned with the work that needs to get done rather than the title I hold. I am also cautious about maintaining the respect and responsibility of actually leading. While I want others to see me as one of them, I also want them to respect the authority I have in the organization.
I am a goal-oriented person and I believe the leader I aspire to be is also very ambitious. While I don’t want to be called “perfect,” I have come to terms with my strong desire to be the best.
I want to show my passion by being involved and being an example, I want to be honest and transparent. I recognize that as a person and as a leader, what I enjoy most is making people happy and giving back to my community. Leadership at AES is inspiring and valuable. I am beyond grateful for this experience because it taught me to value collaboration, to have confidence, to follow guidelines and rules, to manage and resolve conflict, and most importantly to inspire others to do more good in the community. I also learned a lot about myself (strengths and weaknesses) thanks to the leadership opportunities.
3. What is your favorite thing about being in leadership at AES?
Working with others and planning for events would have to be my favorite thing about any leadership position at AES. While I tend to be sweet and understanding as a person and as a leader, I also have a side of me that gets “fired up” and I can be quite “bossy”, but fair. While I try to keep the “bossy” Dani at bay, it does come out every now and again, whether I am passionately arguing a point on behalf of my organization or extremely excited about a project that I would like to get done.
4. What are you going to miss the most about AES?
The campus, the beautiful gardens, and the outdoor areas. The school campus is an oasis of beauty.
5. If you had to create a survival kit for the IB/HS, what would you put in it?
While this is not really a survival guide, these are just some of the things I wish someone would have told me before IB.
Organizing tip: I love tabs and organizers and they helped me so much in IB. One tip I have for all students is to read the short instructions on this document: https://www.republicworld.com/technology-news/apps/how-to-enable-labels-in-google-chrome-tabs-know-everything-about-it.html and enable tab organizers on their computers.
Helpful tip: look at past papers! The IB documents are available online for everyone to view, so use it! https://www.ibdocuments.com/ - they have past papers, question banks, revision notes, and power points made by the IB team to help you prepare for ALL your exams.
Fun tip: follow AES, IB/AP related pages on social media (Instagram). For APUSH, one website I still remember is called “apushitrealgood.” The posts were usually quirky and geeky history-related memes but the descriptions under the posts were always factual and relevant to what was discussed in class. As for IB, a lot of students follow “smartibapp” to stay on top of the latest IB news and gossip.
Note-taking tip: know what type of learner you are. A lot of students use notecards to review for tests but that never really worked for me. I also prefer to take handwritten notes because I am a visual learner and it helps me remember and recall information faster. My advice for students is to find their preferred medium for note-taking early on while also being open to newer methods and improvements.
Helpful tip: make toolkits. While you are writing down the most important notes from the unit, you are subconsciously memorizing them, therefore by the time you take the test, you will have learned the key concepts. You can also store these and use them to prepare for your final exams.
Netflix and YouTube are your friends. I watched a lot of anime to get me through the second year of IB. Also, Pinterest helps a lot to clear your mind. Chocolate and ice cream come in handy.
Try to get as much of your EE done as possible over the summer. You will be doing yourself a huge favor. The same goes for IAs - try to hand in a polished draft that is close to being ready. so that the only round of feedback you get from your advisor is meaningful.
Senior year will be hard and senioritis is even harder. There will be a moment where you fail a test, where you fail an assignment, where you feel like a failure in life. At some point, you will realize that sleep is the most important thing your body needs, so get rest. It is okay to walk away and revisit things in the future.
Keep an agenda or calendar and plan out your week. A list of motivational quotes would be great to add, so in times of intense stress, you can read these quotes and feel confident again.
Possibly the most helpful tip I have for anyone in high school is to do any homework the day it is assigned. It will make you feel accomplished and leaves you with some free time. Don’t procrastinate!
Have fun! These are some great years if you let them be, and even if you are under some stress if you follow some of these tips hopefully you can enjoy your high school years.
6. Which teacher do you wish you could take to college with you and why?
Ms. Syed, Ms. Garg, and Ms. Patterson. They are exceptionally hard-working, dedicated, caring, and they express excitement to co-learn with me rather than teach me, which makes me feel like a partner in my learning experience. They also create a safe and welcoming learning environment where I feel my contributions are acknowledged and appreciated. They are truly an inspiration.