Pay Off

College acceptance letters. Scholarships. Awards. Promotions. Public recognition. Leveling up in World of Warcraft. All of these things make our heart beat 10x faster. After all, we’ve worked so hard: we’ve studied hard, we’ve written and rewritten drafts for scholarship applications, we’ve played over 1000 hours in League of Legends. Earning an award or an acceptance is a great feeling, no doubt. But there’s a feeling out there, a high, that is not nearly as known.

Imagine this: a few idiots get together, come up with an ambitious, unrealistic idea, and claim they’ll “make it happen.” They have a dream, a goal for the future, and they work their butts off. Sure, there are times when they wanted to quit, times where they honestly thought to themselves “I could be playing Super Smash Bros right now.” But they resisted. They persisted. And they finally reached their goal.

Those “idiots” are Fayed Ali, Navi Sidhu, and yours truly, Haaris Khan. We had an idea to create our own computer science club, seeing how Casa Grande had its hands full already. We had over sixty students come to our introductory meeting, and whether or not they continued studying with us, they illustrated the demand for computer science at Casa Grande.

Fayed and I worked for hours creating notes and assignments, and we purchased random crap from the dollar store in preparation for contests in class. We pushed our sleep schedule further out than usual. We went out to committees, pitched our idea, and earned funds. And now, with a strong student body full of hard-working, creative kids, we successfully established a computer science course (two courses, one AP and one college-prep). When I first read the course outline, my ears began to heat up and my heart rate spiked up. Finally, the need for computer science would be met at Casa Grande, and, although I won’t be able to sit in class and enjoy the learning, I am glad to know that the demand has been met. Our efforts have paid off; our hard work and dedication has brought a new, highly-demanded course to the students of Casa Grande.

When you invest your time and risk your sanity doing something you love, when you have a strong support body from great staff like Mr. Wilson and Mr. Libecap, when you push for something despite the odds and overcome those odds, the feeling is unlike any other. Neither a Stanford acceptance nor a Plat 1 rank can come close to the way you feel when your hard work and dedication pay off, especially when you’re giving back to the community that nurtured you.