Insight: Embracing Individuality at EPS: Knowing and Being Known

By Selin, EPS Class of 2026

Knowing and being known is not just a slogan, it’s a way of life. We, adolescents, are neurologically wired to constantly strive to belong. In this messy and hectic time of comparison and self-discovery, embracing our individuality and pursuing our passions is vital. Our school’s mission places a strong emphasis on constantly motivating and providing students with opportunities to develop essential life skills, in and out of the classroom. My teachers and peers provide endless inspiration for me as I navigate Eastside Prep as someone new to high school and new to EPS. Wait, but why is taking the time to ponder upon the significance of knowing and being known so essential?

A study was conducted where adolescents were asked “What do you think about yourself?” The answers tended to gravitate towards, “Whatever everyone else thinks about me.” (Guyer et. al.). It’s not uncommon for teens to be unsure of who they are, who they want to be, what lies ahead during frontal cortical maturation. However, by fostering a community that encourages personal growth, EPS breaks down these barriers and allows students to embrace their true selves through a number of factors. We practice knowing by absorbing our surroundings and learning from our teachers, peers, and guest speakers during inspiring weekly assemblies. We implement being known by exploring our unique, special, and valuable identities through the plethora of opportunities presented to us at school. This builds a sense of security in our identities and a level of openness in getting to know others, as well as building confidence as young global citizens. We can make a difference in the world, and we’re not afraid to.

Eastside Prep’s curriculum is engaging, flexible, relevant, and led by passionate and knowledgeable teachers. Lessons are designed around building skills in thinking critically and creatively, hence the reason few classes are based on memorizing facts we are unlikely to use in the future. I feel excited and involved in a concept when I’m doing a hands-on lab, running a simulation, or having a round-table discussion on a complex issue. I feel included and supported when I’m involved in a team sport, empathizing in an affinity gathering, or having the freedom to utilize my free periods to pursue my passions.

In addition to the stellar academic program, EPS also offers opportunities for us to expand our horizons beyond the classrooms. For example, the school’s overnight camp during the first week of school allowed us to get to know each other in a fun and relaxed setting. Our future EBC trips present us with exciting prospects to venture out to different corners of the world, providing us with unique first-hand opportunities to learn and grow.

All of these help build strong relationships and a sense of community, which is essential for promoting understanding and empathy among peers. Each and every student at EPS is intellectually curious, thoughtful, decisive, and capable of changing the world for the better. We leave the world better than we found it and use the power of knowledge to accomplish our dreams. By fostering this culture, EPS empowers its students to make a positive impact in the world, one relationship and one dream at a time.