Q & A with a Senior: Nikki Sincero

Ellamarie+Lacambacal+and+Nikki+Sincero+%28right%29+at+CI%27s+band+senior+night.

Ellamarie Lacambacal and Nikki Sincero (right) at CI’s band senior night.

Who was your favorite teacher at CI and why?

My favorite teacher at CI was definitely, without a doubt, Ms. Romines. She is one of the only teachers I can truly be my weird and loud self with. Ever since I walked into her classroom to join CSF my freshman year, she always pushed me and my peers to step up and take on leadership. She was the first teacher in high school I felt really believed in me and my potential. I always felt so welcomed, comfortable, and at-home whenever she’s around—Room 13 has always been my safe zone for all four years. There’s been a lot of ups and downs as I became more involved with CSF, even taking on co-presidency and working with Ms. Romines in the middle of a pandemic, but she never once doubted us students. Ms. Romines is not only a teacher, but a genuine person who cares for the people around her. She’s firm but passionate about what she does. She’s truly proud of her students and we love her so much in return. Despite spilling my water bottle in her classroom 2 times on accident she still welcomed me in her safe classroom I call home, with open arms. Even though she was never my teacher in high school, she’s been the best advisor and adult I could ever look up to and rely on. I won’t ever forget Ms. Romines.

How have you changed (physically, interests, personality) in the past 4 years?

Looking back at freshman and sophomore year, I stressed out way too much about many things— but important and unimportant. I cringe at a lot of things I did, and the way I handled the stress of school. I often put myself down for any grade lower than an A. I joined all the clubs there were because I assumed that’s what colleges wanted to see. Eventually I figured myself out. I used to be a student who broke down over a bad quiz, and handled bad situations immaturely and focused too much on what others thought about me. Now I’ve come to start to fully embrace my weird and loud self, focusing on the few things that make me happy, and immersing myself in healthy and productive environments. 

Who would like to give a shout-out to and why?

I’d like to give a shout out to our school’s Academic Decathlon team and our advisor Ms. Gintjee. Although I joined my sophomore year I regret missing out even just a year of this team. I genuinely don’t think I’ll ever find a group of people like we had again. Although Aca Deca’s focus is basically studying and preparing for competitions, this group made studying so motivating and fun. It wasn’t the competitions—but getting to work in teams with people who genuinely cared about each other and uplifted one another, felt so good. I won’t forget all of the laughter and stressful times we had as a team. We weren’t even just a team, but a huge friend group, and I wanna thank everyone and Ms. Gintjee for welcoming me into their group in the first place and believing in me.

What are some takeaways from your high school years? How do you think they will impact as a college student and beyond?

Procrastination is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We give into the temptation of relaxing now, and doing things later, only to find ourselves stress crying at the last hour something is due. While it is important to balance our time and relax, there is a difference when getting lazy and procrastinating all the time. If I had just pushed myself more, I believe there’s a lot of things I could have done better in, and saved myself a lot of crying sessions and bad grades.

Another take away has to do with figuring myself out. One thing I learned is to not be afraid of branching out to different organizations, clubs, and overall people. Academics is important, but I believe self-growth is even more vital in experiencing high school.

What was your most memorable time at CI? What was your favorite moment/proudest moment in the past 4 years?

My most memorable time at CI was definitely performing with our school’s Tsunami of Sound—from playing at the Rose Bowl with UCLA’s marching band and other high schools to waking up at 3AM to compete at Pismo Beach. My favorite/proudest moment of all was Senior Awards Night. Being recognized and making my parents proud made me feel relief from the past 4 years of dedicating myself to clubs and academics. I was so happy and proud seeing my fellow peers succeed.

What are you going to miss about CI?

The family. The spirit. CI may be stereotyped by outsiders but I genuinely believe that we have the strongest bond out of our district. I’m going to miss walking our halls feeling like I was at home. I’m going to miss the people and the classmates I call my family, and the teachers I consider my mentors and inspiration. Everyone I’ve met has made a positive impact on my life.

What was your most embarrassing moment in the past 4 years?

My most embarrassing moment was accidentally falling asleep in one of my virtual classes and I was the last one left on the Meet. I felt extremely terrible because I didn’t realize I fell asleep— I was just really tired that day.

How would you describe high school in one word?

Rollercoaster.

How did you cope with the quarantine, the pandemic, distance learning?

Honestly, this senior year was the toughest for me. I never knew that I’d feel so unmotivated and burnt out. Before the pandemic I was always a student who was on top of everything but things changed this year, on top of leading two clubs. It was difficult, but talking with my friends and parents saved me. I realized, and embraced, that I wasn’t the only one struggling. I knew that both teachers and students were on the same boat with me. I accepted that making mistakes is completely okay, and I learnt to discipline and also be kinder to myself.

How would you rate senior year on a 1-10 scale? Explain.

I’d give senior year a 3. We missed out on so much, and lost so many potential memories we could’ve made and looked back upon as older adults. But one thing is for certain—while it was difficult, I learnt a lot of things about myself. I grew so much and I like to think I became a stronger person. I went through obstacles for a reason and I know I will refer to these experiences while I’m at college at UC Irvine studying Nursing. If it weren’t for my parents, friends, and teachers I don’t know where I would be right now.