Panisara Purcell ’21

Panisara Purcell ’21

Feb. 2020

Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Home High School: Northwest Guilford High School

What's your favorite part of your job as an Online Ambassador?
My favorite part of being an ambassador is definitely getting to meet new people and share my insights on the online program with them. Many people aren't quite sure what the program entails or have further questions, so I am glad that I can be the bridge that connects them to the NCSSM experience.

What's your favorite part of NCSSM Online?
My absolute favorite part of NCSSM Online is being able to take classes that aren't available at my local high school. I'm a politics and philosophy junkie, so I was ecstatic to take classes like International Relations and Western Political Thought.

What's the biggest challenge you've encountered in the Online program?
The biggest challenge I've encountered is spreading out my workload. I take supplementary classes through NCSSM, which means that they are in addition to the classes that I already take at my local high school. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find time to do all my work, especially since my interests are mostly reading/writing based.

What's an "aha" moment you've experienced in one of your Online classes?
My "aha" moment occurred about a week ago when I was trying to meet my early action college application deadline and realized that I wouldn't be able to finish my work for AP Microeconomics on time. I came to the conclusion that I wasn't a superhuman and couldn't always be perfect, so I reached out to my teacher (shoutout to Mr. Keister), who ended up understanding my situation. I'd say that I learned to reach out when I need help -- no one is perfect, so you shouldn't be scared to ask, plus the NCSSM faculty are all so understanding which is more than I could ask for.

What are two of your greatest interests or passions?
This is a tricky question. I have so many interests, but I would say my top two are politics and math. I spend my time keeping up with the status quo and actively voicing my opinions to those around me. However, my passion in the humanities doesn't mean that I am strictly confined to reading and writing. I've also loved math for as long as I can remember, so I can't wait to see how these two fields intersect in the future.

During the pandemic, what have you missed most?
During the pandemic, I've missed getting to socialize with my friends. It's senior year and I wish I could go out with a bang (which includes, in-person classes, homecoming, football games, etc.), but it is everybody's duty to stay safe and socially distance, so I do not regret staying in more than I usually would have.

How are you coping during the pandemic?
Amidst all that is going on, I've still made time in my schedule to do the things I love. For me, this includes binge-watching Netflix and spending quality time with my family. It is definitely a stressful year, but everybody should find the light and positivity by giving themselves time for self-care and relaxation.

What are you looking forward to in the coming school year?
Hopefully (crossing my fingers), I will be going to a college in person. I'm not sure what the future holds, but as long as we stay safe and stay positive, nothing can go wrong.

What words of wisdom do you have for Online students?
Do not be scared to ask for help, to ask questions, or to participate. The program is what you make it, so by being an active student, you really will get a lot out of it -- not only knowledge, but maybe some friendships and even life advice from teachers.

Why should prospective students and their families consider NCSSM Online?
Take this opportunity! NCSSM Online allows you to explore fields and classes that you might have never heard of. Especially if you're like me, someone who wants to stay at their current high school, but also wants to enjoy the perks of this educational, rewarding program, then NCSSM Online is perfect for you.