Life After High School: Jane Shtalenkova


What is your name?
Jane Shatalenkova

What year did you graduate?
In 2009, I transferred from SMHS to the College of San Mateo Middle College. From there I attended CSM and transferred to UC Santa Cruz in Fall of 2014.

What did you do in high school?
In high school, I was on the swim team, played water polo, and completed the SMHS Biotechnology Career Pathway which introduced me  to the wonderful world of science. Through the summer internship portion of the program, I was immersed in the exciting world of  science first-hand felt what it was like to work in a lab. My favorite teachers were Ms. Ferguson and Mr. Appleman.

My first few years at CSM were honestly awful; I think at one point I had a GPA below 1.0, but then I took an Astronomy class and fell in love with the subject and began my journey toward becoming a Physics major.

What are you doing now?
Currently, I am pursuing a Bachelor’s in Physics (focus in Astrophysics) with a minor in Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz and doing  research for the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics.

What do you enjoy doing?
I love traveling, hiking, music festivals, making art, and talking about life, the universe, and everything.

What surprised you most about life after high school?
The most surprising thing about life after high school for me is how irrelevant all high school social issues, stigmas, and structures become when you’re gone. The most disappointing things are probably having to pay bills, getting your heart broken, and drifting apart from people with whom you thought you would be friends for life. The most exciting things are definitely growing as a person, developing  your character, and learning new things.

Any advice for current bearcats?
My advice to current Bearcats would be to dream big and keep up your hobbies and random skills. Keep your minds open to people that disagree with you, because next year you WILL have completely different opinions on many subjects; it’s called growth. Be kind and grateful because your life is awesome and ignore the haters because they are dealing with their own issues that probably have nothing to  do with you.

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About Jclass

This account is managed by the Journalism Class at San Mateo High School.

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