Spanish Springs High School Senior Meghan Chawla will be walking on June 12 with her intentions set on staying in Northern Nevada and attending University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. However, she fondly looks back on her last four years and the moments that made her who she is today.
“Being able to join a lot of different clubs and activities set a good foundation for me for the future,” she says.
In Chawla’s first years of attending Spanish Springs, she joined the speech and debate team and gained an appreciation for public speaking. She then segued into mock trial that was like the debate team but with more of a legal focus.
Chawla also served as vice president of her National Honors Society chapter and did some community service in conjunction with the Women & Children’s Center of the Sierra. Chawla’s track record also includes serving as treasurer of her senior class and being involved with the Reno Sikh Temple. “Being culturally involved with that was instrumental in my high school career,” she says.
She adds that all of the extracurricular activities she participated in at Spanish Springs were indicative of what attending the high school was really like. However, Chawla believes that the highlight of her high school experience was making it to the state championships in mock trial.
“I was excited that we made it to state with very minimal preparation- we stayed up late the night before to get ready for it,” Chawla says. Since a fear of public speaking is one of America’s top phobias, it’s impressive that Chawla has overcome that early on in life and intends to use it to her advantage in her future career.
“Public speaking is definitely nerve-wracking, and it takes courage. It invokes a feeling of people taking a fight or flight response, but when you find a topic that you’re passionate about then it becomes easier,” she says. Her favorite topics to discuss are usually centered around civil liberties.
“A lot of political debates have been about the Constitution and deciphering what the Founding Fathers wanted to what modern society needs (and how to interpret the laws between them),” Chawla adds.
Chawla plans on going to UNR and studying political science on a pre-law track so it makes sense that her favorite subjects in high school were government and history. She also enjoyed her English classes, believing that reading and writing helped her become articulate while also complementing her speech/debate activities.
As far as choosing a college that’s close to home, Chawla says that it’s where she wants to continue the momentum from her high school accomplishments.
“At first I wanted to go out-of-state (for college) but in the end I ended up choosing UNR because I’m familiar with the community and I was able to build up a foundation here. I didn’t want to abandon that,” she says.
Chawla adds that she was fortunate to make friends at Spanish Springs who share her same values and ethics, along with other faculty members who helped her grow and develop, but that she’s ready to graduate and move on.
“I had a colorful, wonderful experience at Spanish Springs but I’m excited to close this door,” Chawla says.