St. John’s School is proud to be the home of ambitious, dedicated, understanding, determined and caring students who thrive in the classroom and move on to bright, successful futures. Hear what the students had to say about their St. John’s experiences and the experiences and opportunities that await them in college and beyond.
Ariana Claire Barreau
Class of 2015
What colleges were you accepted into?
UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, Stanford University (Early Decision)
Which college will you choose and why?
Stanford University. Having visited the campus several times and met Stanford alumni, I liked how students were still able to have fun while having a rigorous academic workload.
What is your planned college major and minor?
Why do you wish to pursue this major or career? How does this match with what you would like to achieve in your life after college?
My dream is to become a physician who runs her own research projects and integrates clinical practice with laboratory innovation. I want to be a doctor who is accessible, humane, and helpful to patients as they navigate through the scary and confusing maze of the healthcare system. Through Stanford’s biochemistry program, I hope to explore an interdisciplinary curriculum and benefit from having access to undergraduate research opportunities and later, clinical experience. As I study towards a medical degree, I aspire to make a positive impact in the field and in the quality of people’s lives. My ultimate goal is to come back to Guam after I finish my training to become a physician. I would like to help Guam’s medical system to grow and improve. After all, the island’s inhabitants should not need to rely on health systems abroad.
What about college are you most excited for?
What advice would you give to a high school student starting college applications?
1) Start early = begin writing college applications during your Junior year! At least finalize a list of colleges you would like to apply to by the end of Junior year.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask others to read your essays. Teachers (especially English teachers) and friends gave me great edits.
3) Ask for your recommendations early! Make sure to give your recommenders pointers on what areas to highlight about your activities/traits.
4) You will survive – having endurance and determination would help.
How well has St. John’s prepared you for a successful college future?
It has allowed me to be a more independent learner.
1) I learned not to only rely on my teachers to spoon-feed me information. Last year, I got high AP Chemistry class grades and relied on the knowledge gained from classes to take the exam. I made the mistake of assuming I could score high on the AP exam by only doing the required work in my chemistry class. I now push myself to do more than is required in the classroom to maximize my learning.
2) I was pushed hard to improve my math, which has boosted my confidence in myself thanks to the math training I received in Mr. Pearson’s class. I believe that the work ethic I have learned from SJS teachers and students has prepared me for the rigors of college.
What will your lasting memories of St. John’s be?
I will always remember my first day as a Junior in St. John’s. Coming back to Guam after staying in Hong Kong for over 3 years, I never expected so many of my SJS classmates (and teachers) to remember me and was overwhelmed by how close the SJS community is. I really have come to appreciate how much teachers care for their students in SJS and the close relationships formed between students and teachers.
I will also never forget the amount of time and energy teachers at SJS spend outside of class time to help students. For example, Ms. McCormic often would come into school on weekends to help our biology class prepare for exams, Mr. Pearson devoted personal time to math library on Sundays, Ms Reffel spent many hours helping me prepare my personal art portfolio, and Ms Petra gave me rides and counseled me when I needed someone to talk to. These are only a few examples of the lengths teachers go to at SJS.
I owe a special thanks to Ms. McCormic who has always supported my interests in biology and was there to help me review and advise me on independent science projects. She helped open opportunities for me to travel to international science fairs. Without her willingness to give up her free period during my junior year to teach me, I would not even have had an honors biology class to attend that year! So I am extremely grateful for Ms. McCormic’s help and care – not to mention, she was a fun travel companion on our trips abroad.
Ms. Petra, Ms. Reffell, Ms. Chu, Ms. McCormic and Mr. Pearson are all the most caring, dedicated and valuable teachers I have ever encountered – I have been to school in London and Hong Kong but we have the finest right here in Guam!!