By Clara Moffitt
Stanford vs. UC Berkeley: a rivalry that exists in the Bay, on the field and, for two Tempe Prep graduates, in the home. Sisters Claire and Lindsay take the iconic opposition from sports fields to dinner-table meals, both attending prestigious rival universities in Northern California. Claire (TPA ’13) just finished her final year at University of California at Berkeley while her younger sister, Lindsay (TPA ’18), finished her first year across the Bay at Stanford University.
In spite of the animosity among these infamous rivals, Claire and Lindsay still manage to stay close friends and maintain a light heart, even during football games. Claire says she really just enjoys being so close to her sister and their rivalry is “all in good fun … I’m just proud of both of us.”
And these two sisters have a reason to be proud, both attending two top-ranked institutions. Luckily, they have some wisdom to share regarding what they did to qualify themselves to attend such selective universities. While Lindsay dedicated much of her time in high school to Speech and Debate, an activity she claims shaped many of her beliefs and the person she is today, Claire was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. However, both agree that passion is what counts. When it comes to college applications, writing about something you think will look good but don’t really care about is “not as impactful,” Lindsay says.
Claire adds she “did things that I was really interested in and excelled at them and did them year after year which showed commitment on my part; it showed passion and excitement for the things I was doing.” This insight allowed Claire and Lindsay to write meaningful college essays.
Furthermore, Claire and Lindsay credit much of their success in the rigorous environments of Stanford and Berkeley to their experience in the rigor and breadth of Tempe Prep’s liberal arts curriculum. Lindsay says that Tempe Prep “taught me to work hard.” With the level of homework and extracurricular activities that TPA students balance, Lindsay explains that “taking that [skill] to Stanford has really helped me to keep on top of everything.”
Claire, a philosophy major, owes her choice of major to the exposure to philosophical texts in the Tempe Prep curriculum. TPA “taught me how to read really well … served me very well in all of my classes in college.” She also thanks the senior thesis experience, something unique to Tempe Prep, for teaching her and giving her the confidence to work on a project for an entire year.
Claire and Lindsay leave with some advice for current high school students. Lindsay emphasizes the importance of college application essays, emphasizing how you don’t need to prove you’re the best person in the world, just write about something you care about. All in all, take a step back. Claire says, “you will get into the school that you’re meant to go to.” Your college experience is what you make of it and a college will choose you because they see you in their class. Lindsay agrees: “Claire would not like it at Stanford and I would not like it at Berkeley. We ended up in the right places.”
So even though Stanford and UC Berkeley may not be the best of friends, Claire and Lindsay are. And their advice is the same: work hard, enjoy TPA, be you, and know that it will all work out.
Article by Clara Moffitt, student editor in chief and staff writer for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.
About Tempe Prep: Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016).
For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, including the upcoming High School Information Night for current students in Grades 8-10 and their parents on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 at 6:30 pm, visit the school’s website at tempeprep.org.