Bassett looks to put what she#039;s learned in school to the test

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

In just a few short months, Mary Ellen Bassett will put what she's learned in school and life to the test.

In May, the Charles Henderson High School senior will graduate.

In August, she will sit in a lecture hall with hundreds of other students at the University of Alabama.

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"I'm more excited than nervous," she said.

"I've been looking forward to going to Alabama for a long time."

Bassett plans to major in history, but like most of next year's classmates, she isn't sure if history is the area she'll graduate in.

Bassett said she wants to find a subject that will give her a broad range of opportunity.

"I've got a couple of years to figure it out," she added.

No matter her major, Bassett is positive she will minor in Spanish.

Her four years of Spanish at CHHS has already given her a good grasp of the language.

Her Spanish teacher, Pam Merkel, won't stop singing her praises.

"It is so wonderful to have had a student like Mary for four years," said Merkel. "Mary exemplifies the very best qualities a student should possess."

Bassett’s academic integrity is made manifest in her scholarships and awards.

Last week, she added the PRAISE Scholarship to her list.

She received the scholarship because she had the highest ACT score out of her high school, Pike County High School, Goshen High School and Pike Liberal Arts School.

When Bassett moves to Tuscaloosa, she will be involved in the honor's society and live in New Hall, which is an honor dorm.

Since she isn't planning on joining a sorority, Bassett said living in the dorm will help her make friends and become involved on campus.

"I think it'll be fun," she said, but then quickly added, "I hope I get a good roommate."

Besides the honor's society, Bassett plans to be active in the Wesley Foundation and any other group that strikes her fancy.

Bassett may be excited about her future, but is she ready for it?

"I'd like to think I am," she said. "I know college is going to be a big transition, but I'm just going to go in with a positive attitude."

Part of her confidence comes from knowing her education at CHHS will help her make the academic transition.

"I've been given a good background in high school," she said.

"I know the basics of studying and writing papers, so that will really come out in college.

When I have to write my first big paper, I'll know how to do it."

She may be confident, but she isn't blind to the fact her classes will be tougher.

"There's so much you can get away with in high school that just won't fly in college," she said.

"The classroom experience will be a lot different."

Excitement aside, leaving her comfort zone is scary. But Bassett is taking some of her high school friends to college with her and she already has a sister who is well versed in the UA experience, so adjusting to a home away from home should be no problem.

"I'm really going to miss all my friends and my parents," she said.

"It's going to be rough leaving everybody.

But," she added, "it'll be so much fun."