Freshman Friday: Luciana Vanini Benitez


Courtesy of Vanini Benitez

Luciana in downtown Ann Arbor.

Madeleine Pale

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what hobbies/sports you do.

A: “I swim. I like to crochet. I really like the lake. I like pottery too, as a hobby.”


Q: How would you describe your transition from middle to high school?

A: “I was really nervous at the beginning. I was like, “Oh no, this could be a lot harder than middle school,” but it really wasn’t. It still feels like middle school, sort of. I guess it was kind of a smooth transition. I had a hard time getting adjusted to Huron, it’s a big school. I think that was the hardest part. And also, there were a lot of new people because at first it was just maybe two or three elementary schools. Now it’s all the middle schools in one building. So it’s a lot more people.”


Q: What class is the most interesting so far and why?

A: “I would say art and design. I really like to draw. We’re doing this shading drawing now. And I think it’s really fun and I’ve learned a bunch of new techniques with art. I think I lean towards more of an artistic or creative thing instead of more academic.”


Q: What are 3 words to describe your first months of high school and why?

A: “Fun, because I met a lot of new people. Swimming was fun and entertaining. I also think frustrating because sometimes the teachers don’t talk to each other. They all pile on work, and then I’ll have a pile of work to have to do after school when I’d rather be doing something else. And the third word would probably be interesting. I’ve learned a bunch of new things that I didn’t know. Especially in geometry and biology. I’ve learned how new things work, and I think that’s interesting”


Q: How has high school surprised you so far? Were there any skills you had to learn to get work done or fit school into your schedule?

A: “Yes, especially when we had swim before and after school. Like, I would have to go to sleep early, which would mean that I would have to get my work done quickly, so that I could go to sleep and have a nice dinner and do things that I want to do outside of school. I would wake up early to go to swim, and then go to school, go to swim, and then do that all over again. I think having to fit in all the work was a skill I learned. It wasn’t a ton of work, but I didn’t even have homework in middle school, so I think having to put homework into my schedule was kind of hard.”


Q: How do you want to remember your high school experience four years later? What are you doing now or how do you plan to make that happen?

A: “I definitely want to think that I had a fun time, but I also want to feel that I worked hard and know that I didn’t slack off. I want my work to pay off, so I can do something or have a career that I would like in the future. I’d just like to remember this as a nice experience, and like a learning opportunity too. I learned how to balance new things.”