Ranch Reflections are articles written by LRHS students and staff who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for Mustangs to branch out beyond traditional news stories.  This edition features the thoughts of senior Charlize Ucciferri as she prepares for graduation.

Charlize Ucciferri – Mustangs Ahead

LRHS senior Charlize Ucciferri advises Mustangs to enjoy their time at LRHS

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As my experience here at LRHS comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the decisions I have made throughout these past four years.

My freshman year was a year of learning how high school worked. Academic courses became more rigorous compared to the classes I took in middle school and there were a lot more people in the hallways compared to what I was used to. To make new friends, I joined the LRHS cheerleading team and several other clubs which allowed me to be more involved.

After my first year, my sophomore year became more relaxed. I no longer had to get help to know where I was going. I felt comfortable walking into school knowing that I had people to talk to. I also took harder classes to raise my Grade Point Average (GPA) and challenge myself. I joined even more clubs and stayed on the cheerleading team. However, my sophomore year quickly came to a halt due to COVID-19.

What started with a three-week spring break evolved into finishing the school year online with the rest of my peers.

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This continued to my junior year. At first, it seemed like doing online would be easy. However, this was not the case. I had to take three Advanced Placement (AP) level classes online and was expected to pass each national AP exam. In addition, online school caused me to miss out on being a normal teenager. I was still on the cheerleading team, but practices and football games were not the same.

The start of my senior year was nerve wracking. I had to start thinking about what colleges I was going to apply to and what I needed to do to make the most out of my last year of high school. This year my cheerleading career came to a close after eight years. Senior year presented many challenges that I had to work though, such as applying to colleges.  In the end, I chose to continue my academic career at University of Central Florida (UCF.)