The first student of the month in 2020 at Alpha Omega Academy is Sarah Colabawala, a freshman with a love for writing who currently lives on the Arabian Peninsula in Dubai. Sarah was nominated to receive this month’s honor by her psychology teacher, Heather Pearson.
“I have been so impressed by her diligence and interest in psychology,” Pearson said. “I get frequent messages from her where she is asking deeper questions and doing her own reading and research about ideas from the lesson that have caught her interest. She has been an absolute joy to have in class.”
My AOA Story
I have been a student at Alpha Omega Academy since the third grade. My aunt’s sister-in-law discovered AOA and recommended it to my family. Once we did our own research into AOA, we realized that the school seemed to be perfect for us!
Why I Love AOA
My favorite part about online learning is being able to make my own schedule. Since my family travels often, it’s important that we’re able to adjust my schedule as needed. Online learning has been very accommodating to my life! With a family who tends to be spontaneous in their travels, it’s been very helpful to be able to readjust my schedule.
When I first started AOA, I was also genuinely surprised by how helpful and kind all the teachers were! All of them were very sweet and supportive. It was very reassuring to know that I had teachers who could help me if I was ever struggling to understand a certain subject.
My Favorite Subject
My current favorite subject is psychology. It’s a very fascinating subject to learn about, since it deals with the human mind — what causes people’s behaviors, their thought patterns, and more. As I’ve always loved understanding what makes people tick, psychology has been the perfect class for me.
My teacher in the subject has been absolutely wonderful, as well. Whenever I have a question or am curious to hear her opinion on a topic, she is very responsive in answering. It’s due to her help that I’ve learned even more about psychology, making me love the subject even more!
I spend the majority of my free time talking with my friends! I have many online friends from different parts of the world, ranging from the Netherlands to Spain. We all enjoy spending time together, and have even set up group get-togethers, even if conflicting time zones make it difficult at times.
My Love for Writing
If I could have any job in the world, I would choose to be a writer. In fact, I already have plans to be one. I love writing realistic characters, their interactions, and their growth. The ability to create an entire story of my own where anything is possible is absolutely incredible to me.
I spend a lot of my free time participating in collaborative roleplaying groups. Essentially, we write characters, place them in a setting, and then write with one another to create a story involving each other’s characters.
Although it may seem rather small, one of my greatest accomplishments in life was the creation of my character, “Kiku Kamiya.” She is a stoic violinist who has a tendency to overwork herself. However, her backstory and personality blend together perfectly to establish her reasons for doing so. Basing her self-worth on her accomplishments led her to overwork herself, since being successful was how she measured if she was “good enough.” I consider her to be my most well-written character, and as a person who intends to be a writer in the future, I take great pride in this fact. Her development has been fantastic to write.
My Life in Dubai
Currently, my family and I are staying in Dubai, which is considered to be one of the most diverse and unique places in the world. There are so many wonderful things that you’re capable of seeing here, such as the Dubai Mall. The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world; in fact, I’ve even gotten lost inside it a few times, just due to the sheer size of it. A few of the most noteworthy things in the mall are a Virtual Reality Park, an indoor skate rink, an aquarium, and the stunning display of the Dubai Fountain show with over 6,000 lights. Connected to Dubai Mall is the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
Truthfully, my favorite part of Dubai is the food. Dubai has much variety in its food, and it has been great to try new dishes from other cultures.
I think that others would be surprised to know just how much I’ve traveled at my young age. I have been to Thailand, India, Dubai, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and more! Traveling and getting the opportunity to see these places has been amazing, and I’m very grateful for all my experiences.
I’m not sure on what plans or goals I have for when I graduate from high school. College seems far away yet so close, and figuring out where I want to go or what I want to do is a struggle at times. I think it’s okay if I don’t know what I want to do just yet. For now, I’ll enjoy life for what it is, and when the day for graduation approaches, I’ll figure out what I want to do.
My Words of Wisdom
You aren’t alone, even if on some days it may seem like it. There are people out there who care and want to support you. If you’re having a hard time, that’s okay. Just know that it’s also perfectly okay to reach out for help from your friends, family, or a professional. You do not have to figure out everything on your own. There is no shame in asking for help.