Video: Welcome Letter from Vishnu ’22

Dear Fellow Wildcats,

Welcome to Academy at the Lakes! I am excited and grateful to welcome you into our community. No doubt entering a new community can be challenging; I remember how nervous I was. However, having been through this transition, I can confidently tell you that those at Academy will be supportive and helpful of your needs. Every student you see on campus was once a new face at our school. As a senior who has been through many of your upcoming experiences, I have some advice.

First, find your niche. When you hear about a new club, sport, or extracurricular activity, try it out! You’ll never regret trying something new, but you’ll always regret never trying it at all. In 9th grade, I tried almost everything. After bouts with swimming, basketball, track, I found my true interest in sport: tennis. After trying out Key Club, Math Club, and Film Club, I found my favorite club: debate. Try everything, and you’ll find your own interests!

Next, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking for help is paramount in developing new skills and learning more about the world, so if you’re ever curious about something, just ask! I’ve always been met with a passionate, in-depth response that helped my understanding and improved my relationship with a peer or teacher. Since our school is a tightly-knit environment, it’s important to forge meaningful relationships with those around you, and there’s no better way to start a conversation than with a simple question.

Finally, take risks. Now is the time to try new things, make mistakes, and try new things again. When I first joined Academy, I was nervous to take on new challenges. Joining our debate team, running for student council, and facing a difficult course load all seemed out of the question when I first set foot in Upper Division. But after exploring all of these opportunities, and more, I am grateful for my decision to explore what is unknown, discover what I truly love, and enjoy some incredible experiences along the way.

With this mindset, venture into the uncharted and make the most of your years at AATL. Your journey here will involve mistakes and challenges, but you will leave Academy a stronger, smarter, and more successful individual.

I wish the best of luck to this year’s incoming classes!

Vishnu Malhotra ’22
Student Council President
Debate Club President