Cristo Rey Boston High School

News & Features » Alanna Perez: Greetings from Princeton University

Alanna Perez: Greetings from Princeton University

Growth is Not Linear 
Alanna“I can’t quite get my head around the fact that this time last year, I was filming footage for the upcoming Academic Signing Day and now I am weeks away from the conclusion of my freshman year at Princeton University!” chuckled Alanna Perez.  
She continued, “Princeton has been challenging, incredibly hard – more than I could ever envision. It has been an adjustment, and I spent the better part of the fall semester figuring out academics at Princeton. I quickly realized that those three hours I spend goofing around with a friend during the afternoon had to be part of a larger plan for time management.”  
As a pre-med major, she took two lab sciences during the fall and was surprised by how fast paced the classes were. Alanna noted “Academically it was very shocking, the students are working very hard and there is a constant pressure to keep up with the work.” 
Cristo Rey Boston helped set me up for success.” Alanna continued, “For the first time in my academic career, I was no longer one of the top students in the class, everyone at Princeton is super smart, but I am succeeding in my classes.”  
She shared that the high academic expectations at Cristo Rey Boston and the time management skills needed to juggle school and Corporate Work Study have been a big part of her success. “There have been instances where I have been able to distinguish myself in a classroom because I always come to class prepared.” She reported that she adjusted her journey as the year unfolded and has stayed focused on setting up a disciplined approach to her studies. 
During the fall, Alanna spent time speaking with her mentors at Cristo Rey and as a result, chose classes that closely align with her interests. In particular, she is enjoying a class on Architecture and an African American Studies class during the spring semester.  
She noted “I enjoy bringing a unique perspective to the classroom because of my CWSP experience and time at Cristo Rey Boston. I have interacted extensively with people of different races and perspectives during high school that helped inform my view of the world. I have realized that many of my classmates have grown up very siloed- either in communities of color or having never met a person of color.  
Still thinking about medical school as her pathway forward, Alanna is allowing her career at Princeton to unfold and looking forward to next year. Currently, her attention is focused on completing final exams and securing a summer job in the medical field. The larger question of declaring a major will wait until the end of sophomore year. 
“Growth is not linear, it should be uncomfortable, it means you are changing and learning and expanding.” Alanna noted. While she was a student at Cristo Rey Boston, she learned to be “perfectly imperfect.” Now Alanna is welcoming the growth that comes from accepting a difficult challenge and finding success!