The Five As

Copper Hills High School offers a wide variety of activities any student can join.

Taylor Patton

They were athletes, one could tell as soon as they entered the classroom. With a confident attitude they walked down the aisles to their desks. A group of academic girls sit perched in the back of the classroom like carriers of wisdom. The boy in the front, clearly the leader, meets the eyes of a dark-haired girl, and everyone knows what will happen. Obviously, they will sing, and dance, and fall in love–they will also make friends and build connections with groups of people they may not have otherwise. Point being, this well-known trope in teenage storytelling is popular because it promises connections with others… like Troy and Gabriella, it is socially and intellectually useful to get involved in one of the five As, which include academics, achievements, activities, arts, and athletics. 

The reason for students joining activities range from dares to career paths and anything in between. “I applied for Sterling Scholar because it was an opportunity. Simply put, you have to take your chances and just go for it,” Oswald Santana said, the 2022-2023 Sterling Scholar for Instrumental Performance. 

Reymark Villapandel is a sophomore and a member of the Business and Marketing club (BAM). “I joined BAM because I just wanted to get more involved with the business world,” he said, “I was really profound about finding ways I could compete with those skills that I already harnessed from past years.” 

Mckinzie Anderson, a sophomore and member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), said, “I joined FFA because I want to be a veterinarian.” She used her resources to learn more about her interests. 

“I decided to join just because I thought it would be cool to play an instrument,” said Milena Pereira. Pereira used to be really shy, but band kind of forced her out of her comfort zone and made her more social. 

A cheerleader on the JV team, Emily Astill, joined an athletic team because her friend convinced her to. “I danced all my life, but wasn’t planning on joining a team in high school,” she said. Her journey was unplanned, but she wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Great things can come out of being involved in teams and clubs. “I feel a lot more capable within my own abilities,” Santana said. Through Sterling Scholar, he was able to build confidence that he wouldn’t have had otherwise. “FFA has allowed me to gain knowledge in my career path,” Anderson said. FFA has been beneficial to Anderson’s future. “I genuinely don’t think I would be this ‘successful’ without band,” Pereira said, “band gets a bad reputation because of the ‘band kid stereotype,’ but it’s not that bad. It’s a challenge; it’s so rewarding. There’s nothing like it.” Band has helped build Pereira into the person she is today and she has loved every second of it. Astill said, “I love being up in the air and learning new tricks; it feels good to accomplish something like that.” She has gained satisfaction through every twist and turn her body has made. Every one of these individuals has gained something from an activity: confidence, ability, skills, or satisfaction; life changing opportunities lay within activities. 

Although every person joins a club for personal reasons and gets a different experience, one thing remains consistent through all of them: friendship. “Honestly, I’m happier because of the connections I’ve made,” Santana said. “My favorite part about BAM is the brotherhood,” Villapandel mentioned, “our school can come together- and we can really work together and help build our futures through [BAM].” Pereira said, “[Band] is a great environment and it’s always felt like a second home.” “You’ll make great friendships and it’s fun to be involved in the school,” Astill said. Every A, academics, achievements, activities, arts, and athletics, is so different, yet each one offers the chance to meet people and form connections that will be life long.

Like Troy and Gabriella show us in HSM, no matter the differences, everyone fits in somewhere. While it is okay to not join a club or team, Copper Hills offers them for those who wish to explore their interests and make new friendships. Through these activities, bonds can be made that last forever. One decision to try something new is one step closer to finding who you are and where you belong at Copper Hills High School.