Strait stuck to what she knew best by joining the Cougars cheerleading and swimming teams, both of which she had done in New Mexico. Now settling into her second year in both programs, she said the upgraded competition suits her.
“I started swimming in fifth grade on a type of club team and I have been cheering since the seventh grade, but last year was the first time I have competed for titles for the school,” Strait said.
Strait participates in sport cheerleading — cheering at Cougar games — and competition cheerleading at Spanish Springs High. She said preparation and execution of each team requires a different mindset and training regimen and a major time commitment.
“The competition team is a little different because you have to train harder and practice differently because you are performing in front of people and you want to bring back titles,” she said. “It’s more difficult because you have to do a lot of stunting, so it is a little different from sport cheering which doesn’t involve as much.”
Aside from her extracurricular activities, Strait is enrolled in three Honors courses, her favorite of which is Chemistry, and she also participates in the new Cougar News Network. Though she was new to the idea of media publishing, she said the CNN class has easily become one of her favorites.
“I really like the web design of it so far. Web design isn’t something I had done before, but it has been great because instead of watching someone draw it up on the board you actually get to work in a hands-on environment and the teachers are very helpful.
“I like that they use a limited selection for the class because you have to apply for the class with teacher recommendations, so you get smaller class sizes and more one-on-one time with your teachers.”
Strait said her interest in chemistry has only grown through the participation in her Honors class and is helping to enhance her dreams of working in the medical field. Though she has yet to determine a college to attend, Strait has been influenced heavily by personal experience.
“At first I wanted to be a veterinarian, which comes from loving to help out animals, and then I broke my foot in cheerleading so I thought I could be an orthopedic surgeon,” Strait said, “But I don’t like feet so that was out, and my doctor told me about anesthesiology. He told me about some of the surgeries they are in on and I think that would be a really interesting field to be in.”
As the first half of her third semester comes to an end, Strait said she is still looking to branch out into new programs such as the National Honor Society at Spanish Springs High. Though her schedule is already loaded with homework and practices, she said self-accountability has always been her key to success.
“Whenever I get homework, or any assignments, I have to get it done right away. I never know if we are going to have to perform or something all of a sudden so I can’t really procrastinate,” she said. “Sometimes it does get overwhelming, but I know I have to just get it done because if I want to do swimming and cheer. I have to have good grades. I have to put that responsibility on myself and make sure that everything gets done.”