Sidney: A Short(ish) Introduction


While I can’t guarantee that this will actually be short, I’d like to properly introduce myself and the past few years of my life! Let’s rewind a bit to the spring semester of my sophomore year – 2014, I believe. I was living in Lafayette, Indiana, and I was incredibly dissatisfied with my life, my school, and the future I was supposed to construct. Without notice, I received a letter in the mail, going into detail about the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, a residential high school in Muncie, IN, designed for gifted and talented students. My mother thought it was a scam, but I applied against her wishes. The day I got the phone call informing me that I was offered admission to the academy, I quite literally jumped for joy. I was also a bit relieved, considering I had already told everyone I was leaving (probably a poor decision, but I turned out to be right, didn’t I?). To fast forward just a teeny bit, on the right is a photo of my first day of school at the academy!


Attending the academy was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and it’s a decision that changed my entire life. To be completely honest, I think that attending school at the academy will continue to benefit me as time passes. The academy was a pre-college experience that did nothing but help me. Because of the academy, I matured at an incredible pace, I got to meet some of the best friends I’ve had in my lifetime, and I got to experience education in a way I’d never been exposed to before. Before the academy, I was scrambling to decide what I had to do to build my future. Due to the passionate and caring faculty at the Indiana Academy, a plethora of new possibilities were revealed over time. I was able to formulate a future, thanks to them, and more importantly, a college decision! To me, all of this has more than prepared me for college. I may be a bit too cocky when I say I’ll be able to adjust to the real college life, however. I suppose we will see.

Here I am, today, writing this article and attempting to sum up the past few years of my life, picking out the most important pieces to try to explain to you, the reader, that it is imperative to take chances. I applied to the Indiana Academy on a whim, under the impression that I wasn’t the type of student they were looking for. I applied to Carthage College because I found an ad in a college magazine, and I chose to attend Carthage without touring the buildings or dorms on campus (maybe a small “yikes” there, but I’m 100% sure I’ll be fine). It’s important to recognize your potential and to not let your self-doubt prevent you from even trying something. Failure is something you’re bound to encounter, but life has its way of making up for that, as cheesy as it sounds. This past December I competed for one of Carthage College’s presidential scholarships. If I would’ve won, I could’ve gone to college for less than $5,000 a year, and that’s before financial aid dishes out its share. I went through an interview process with faculty and alumni, and wrote an impromptu essay about failure. Ironic, right? I left confident and certain I would be one of the recipients. Two months later, I got a letter in the mail informing me that I, unfortunately, was not selected as a presidential scholar. Of course, I was devastated. As a result, I angrily threw away my Carthage counselor’s business card and took my acceptance letter down off of my bookshelf. I seriously had no idea what I was going to do with my life. After a few weeks of spiraling into a deep pit of panic, FAFSA letters started getting mailed out. Lo and behold, the Carthage College financial information was sitting in my hands. I read over the info, not really understanding, until my Carthage counselor, Greg Huss, called me to tell me I had received nearly the highest financial aid packet that they could give, and that I should be proud of myself. Me, proud? I suppose. After that phone call that consisted of me smirking and Greg boosting my ego, I dug his business card out of the trash and put my acceptance letter back on display. Alas, there was hope.

That blurb was basically me telling all of you that life has its ups and downs, but things will happen as they should. Life can definitely hand you a lot of trash that’s hard to work with, but it can also reward you with some good things every once in a while. The college application process and all of its intricacies is like nothing else, and I’m sure actually attending college has its complications as well. In about a month and a half I’ll be moving to Kenosha, Wisconsin to study psychology and criminal justice – something I never would have predicted even a year ago. Join me and follow along as I stumble through life at Carthage College and try oh-so-hard to graduate in three years!

Thanks for listening,



Sidney Burke
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Sidney Burke

Carthage College 2020. Psychology major. Criminal Justice minor.
Sidney Burke
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One thought on “Sidney: A Short(ish) Introduction”

  1. Steven Lin says:

    Great article Sidney! Can’t wait to see what you life at Carthage will turn out! Keep us updated!

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