If you want to know what a total high school experience is about, take a look at Marian Catholic swimmer and water polo player Sophia Sesto.
She hopes to qualify for state this year in the 100-yard backstroke, but Sesto has been and is involved in numerous organizations. She most recently was named to the Dominican Preachers.
"I was honored to be chosen because I was was one of five," Sesto said. "You get to preach the Gospel at Mass and spread the word.
"I think it is a great thing for us to have that opportunity to make a difference and be a role model for your classmates."
Sesto is in the student council and the National Honor Society. Two years ago, she was one of 12 student-athletes from Illinois to appear in an IHSA commercial with then-Bears Brian Urlacher and Anthony Adams about concussions.
She said the finalists for the Dominican Preachers had to write a paper and she chose swimming and her struggles.
"Coming to high school, it was hard because before high school, I was one of the fastest swimmers," Sesto said. "At high school meets, I wasn't the fastest and didn't qualify for state.
"I just wrote about it, and how I just had to get better."
Over the summer, Sesto went to Appalachia with fellow Marian students on a service trip. They worked on houses.
"We were digging dirt from the side of the house, so the bottom of the house could be painted," she said. "It was a good thing, because we learned a lot. We dealt with people who did not have a lot of possessions but were happy. Then you see how we live up here, how everything is fast-paced."
She said their cellphones did not work in that area and it turned out to be a good thing.
"We had to talk with people," Sesto said. "Amazing how much we depend on texting and our cellphones. You were forced to communicate.
"I came back from the trip just so fulfilled. You had a chance to do something to help someone."
In the pool, Sesto would like to qualify in the 100 backstroke.
"It is a different type of race because it is not a sprint, but it is also not a distance race," Sesto said. "You really have to have strong legs because you sue them a lot. I just want to work hard and make it out of sectionals."