Having gone through the AVID program, a class that helps prepare students for college as well as helps them to be responsible and organized, for 4 years at Galileo, it’s a bit overwhelming to think about all the experiences and emotions I’ve been through as part of the class. In some ways it’s like I’ve known the class my whole life, which is a peculiar feeling since classes are always temporary. Every single year my feelings towards AVID always changed, which is essentially a representation of how I felt about high school in general.
When I first started AVID things weren’t too good for me academically. I was an unorganized, and somewhat lazy student who underestimated the challenge of every class. So AVID was no cake walk, because the cornell notes and binder checks were somewhat difficult to remember to do. My classmates were also people who seemed just okay at the time. I got close to a couple of people but ultimately didn’t remember everyone that well. The teacher, Mr. Lee was also someone who I didn’t really like because I felt like he just told corny jokes all the time. As a whole, I didn’t really like the whole AVID concept, but that’s because, at the time, I was young and somewhat closed-minded.
Walking into AVID class everyday started to feel familiar, and I enjoyed that. It was nice knowing exactly what would happen in class without worrying about what we’d do that day since I already knew. Other classes would give me pop quizzes, and sudden assignments that were a bit of a nuisance. What also made AVID comfortable was the group of students that I began to know pretty well. On top of that, I easily overcame the workload after the first year because I started taking things a lot more seriously. Mr. Lee was also a bit less guarded and more open to telling us how he felt about things and experiences he went through which was pleasant. I felt a lot more trusting towards him, however his jokes were still somewhat cringe worthy.
Repetition for a long time is not very fun in general. Cornell notes, tutorials, and binder checks really started to feel like a drag and unnecessary. Towards the end of Junior year I felt like AVID had run its course for me. The only reason I planned to stick with it was because I would’ve wasted a bunch of time if I transferred at that point. It was odd but things started to feel too familiar, and I felt distant from my classmates despite our time together. Don’t get me wrong, the students were genuine and likeable, but I at times even I struggled to find my place in the crowd.
Once my final year of AVID came, it was extremely useful and despite the awful length of the course, I’m glad I stuck it out because of the massive help I got with college applications. Mr. Lee was great at holding our hand through the process. Especially since the whole purpose of AVID is to be ready for anything college related. His jokes also had drastically improved, either that or my sense of humor changed. But once college applications ended, avid became a lot less enjoyable. Because it felt like even more of the same, and I wanted to move on to newer things. I wish that there was more variety to the curriculum besides wash rinse repeat. Maybe the AVID course should’ve been condensed into a shorter amount of years or something along those lines, in order for it to be more enjoyable.
All in all though, the bonds I have created through this long journey of a class are extremely valuable to me. I also feel like I ended up finding my place in the class as well. The games on fridays gave me a feeling of relaxation that I never found elsewhere in classes. It was just overall a positive experience that brings out the best in students, since the community is a comfortable place without immaturity. As someone who went through four years of AVID, I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested. In addition to all of these pros, Ms. Marshman was a huge help in getting the classes I needed and in assisting me in whatever necessary things I needed to do.
Overall, there is something special in taking a college prep course, with the same people by your side for four years, who have similar goals. While AVID isn’t perfect, there are some strong benefits that outweigh the downsides, for me at least.