Clarice Akunwafo

When I decided to go to Rolling Hills Prep, I understood that I would have a lot of responsibilities on my plate. I always wished I could fast forward time just to see if it was all worth it at the end. I finally have my answer today but let me give you a glimpse of my daily life these past four years.

My alarm clock is always set at 5am. I wake up, brush my teeth, shower, do my hair, and make sure I have everything packed for the day because there's no turning back. I leave my house no later than 5:30am because I don't want to make my dad late for work. We get to Mcdonalds around 6:00am and I wait there for 35 minutes. This is my favorite part of the day because 5 out of 10 times I am able to convince my dad that Mcdonalds is a healthy breakfast choice. I leave Mcdonalds and head to my bus stop which is a 5 minute walk for others but for me a 10 minute stroll. It is a stroll for me because I walk without purpose. I take my time to focus on my own thoughts and mentally prepare for the day. Most days, on this stroll I am either freezing my butt off or blinded by the fog. On a bad day, I am drenched by the rain.

At 6:45 finally on the bus, I either take a nap or finish up some homework and end up at school around 7:50. I need to remember to pack my lunch the night before and get it out of the fridge in the morning. When basketball season starts I remind my mom where practice is held and when it is ending. I always have to make sure I had a ride to and from the games. Shout out to the Akahiji and Gold family for all the rides. When there is no basketball season, I will wait at school until 5:30 in the evening for the bus. So, I had to be disciplined enough to not use my phone so it would not die because I needed it to call my parents when I get to Mcdonalds. During this time, I got homework done by going to ASB or the computer lab. I got to my bus stop around 6:15 and had to wait 30 minutes at McDonalds for my mom. I got home around 7pm.

This is only half of it! I messed up this schedule all the time, I woke up 10 minutes late, I did not text or call my parents, I walked too slow and missed the bus, or my phone died. This whole process always made me uncomfortable, but it has been worth it. I learned the skill of preparation- making sure everything was packed up the night before. I got into the habit of waking up early. I became a good debater. I became better at thinking ahead and making the right decisions. I got better at setting things up for success. I met amazing families like the Akahijis, Golds, Tamashiros, Velascos, Valvos, and Yamadas. I got into a well-respected travel ball team, Cal Sparks, because of Naya and Ms. Stroud. I had amazing coaches who pushed me on and off the court. I met teachers like Ms. Balliet who taught me about feminism and Mr. D who taught me I was not supposed to say etcetera when announcing something. I could go on forever but all of the lessons I learned and experiences I had these past four years have made me the person I am today. From this speech, I want to leave you with something my basketball coach, Coach Masson, ingrained in me. “Be comfortable being uncomfortable. When you are uncomfortable, that is when you grow the most. And when you grow as an individual, it will be always worth it at the end.”