01/14/2013 09:14 am ET Updated Mar 16, 2013

The Class That Changed My Entire Perspective

This year, my school went from same-sex to co-ed as the result of a merger. At first, everything seemed pretty much the same as last year in terms of classes and sports. However, something new was added to the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy curriculum. On my freshly printed schedule, I recognized most of the classes, except for one: fourth period entrepreneurship. I thought I had an idea of what entrepreneurship was, but I had no clue what I was in for when the class started.  

When I went to my first class, I thought entrepreneurship was as simple as learning the steps to start your own business. However, my classmates and I were in for a surprise. We quickly jumped into why we were here and what we were going to do this quarter. We were here to learn about how the job world is changing, and how we can prepare ourselves to create opportunities that can bring success. For example, we learned that when Steve Jobs was in eighth grade, he called Bill Hewlett, CEO of Hewlett Packard, asking for help because he wanted to create a frequency counter for a school project and needed parts. Examples like this made me understand that there are entrepreneurial characteristics that certain people possess. I quickly began to recognize that entrepreneurship class wasn't just about learning simple steps to start a business. Through working with the local Philadelphia restaurant Pure Fare, I have also learned that not everyone needs to follow tried-and-true steps to build a business. For example, we learned that Pure Fare has never spent money on advertising. To help promote their brand, our class built a prototype for a mobile recipe app for the healthy eating restaurant.

My classmates and I embarked on a journey together. The entrepreneurship class helped change my view of school. It showed me how all the classes I take daily come together in the end. Before this class, each of the subjects seemed completely different to me. Every once in a while I'd see math come up in physics. In English, occasionally a story would come up about a time period I was also studying in history, but other than that these subjects seemed like different houses on a street called school.  

Taking this entrepreneurship class has showed me how understanding history can help me make a change in the world today. Math is important in order to have the skills to budget and profit from an innovation or business. Creating attractive, informative, and well put together documents, is a key part in entrepreneurship, English helps with that. Yes, there are other classes I take, but these ones seemed like the least likely to be related, or end up blending in the work world. This entrepreneurship class has given me a different view on my academic life this early in high school -- crazy, right?

I have reflected on how this course has impacted my ninth grade experience so far. I'm a few months into high school and I can say it has already changed my way of tackling freshman year. We recently have been learning about leadership and what makes a good leader. When we say leader in class, we are mostly talking about someone who is leading some sort of company, but the leadership qualities we discuss also apply to leading yourself. Examples of leadership we've been talking about are leading by fear and leading by motivation.  

I've applied this to my life. Here's one example: My teachers post all graded assignments on a website called NetClassroom. Most students check this site religiously, myself included. On this site, you see your grade go up and drop within a span of hours. Recently I have been seeing my math grade drop more than rise. In the early stages of taking this class, I kept to myself about it, and just kept studying the same way. However, after our leadership discussion, I left the classroom with a fresh view. From then on, I take the SAS time that the school gives us and go to my teacher every day, even when we don't have class. SAS is a 50-minute period when all teachers must be in their classroom so that if a student needs extra help, they can be there and answer questions. 
I did lead myself to this decision, but I was inspired by examples from my entrepreneurship class that motivated me to see my teacher and raise my grade. Now I know this sounds unrealistic -- a ninth grader eager to learn math? Well, I am. I'm slowly expanding my eagerness to all subjects actually, and now I see improvement when I check NetClassroom. At the moment, I've had this class about 15 times. I am seriously starting to understand that this doesn't just apply in class and later in life; it applies as soon as I leave the classroom. It applies to all my subjects, my home and sports life, and it applies outside of school. We do talk about how to create jobs and opportunities for ourselves in the near future. Our class has realized that the near future can be as close as now.