Freshman Friday | Ariana Parra


Image by Daniela Arreola

Ariana Parra, freshmen, strikes a pose.

Ariana Parra, true crime aficionado, musical theater enthusiast, and dog parent, is a freshman at Mt. SAC Academy. Her dynamic personality and clever, kind demeanor, make her an invaluable student and companion. Conversations with Ariana flow easily thanks to her relatability and easy-going, grounded personality. At the young age of fourteen, she is still getting to know herself, but at the fundamental level, she knows her values and what makes her life feel fulfilled.

One thing Ariana values is her family, canine and human alike.

“I like to go out with my dog on a walk…His name’s Alexander and he’s a corgi. [His name is inspired by] the musical Hamilton.”

“I just actually went to go see Hamilton the other day. It was so cool. Definitely my top favorite [musicals] are Hamilton, Six, and Heathers.”

A major source of her happiness stems from spending quality time with her family. Especially her dad, who she has a close bond with.

“[M]y dad and I use [Sunday] to spend it watching ghost shows, paranormal, and true crime. That’s kinda like our tradition.”

Another tradition she holds dear to her heart is “Going [to La Puente Live] with my siblings and my parents.”

This weekly Friday farmers market offers live music, delicious food, and fun for everyone.

“My brothers and I would walk to the library before them and my parents would pick us up and we’d go there.”

Choosing Mt. SAC Academy is a big decision for many students. Ariana explains that a main factor in choosing this establishment for her education is the people that make up the close-knit community.

“I saw the environment was a lot more welcoming [and] everyone here was a lot nicer.”

In the eight months since her arrival, she has built friendships that she describes as “funny, welcoming, and supportive.”

Every day, she aims to be a light to valuable people, including her family, friends, and teachers.

“I don’t want to be a negative person because it’ll definitely affect those who I love around me. I just want to be positive as much as I can.”

“I can be [a] bold… person. I’m a blue Wubble Bubble with a bunch of glitter in it, that’s what I’d describe my personality as.”

One way she models optimism and enthusiasm is by bringing bouts of uncontrollable laughter whenever she’s around.

I’m a blue Wubble Bubble with a bunch of glitter in it.

— Ariana Parra

“A lot of my friends say I have a very contagious laugh. So if I am laughing very hard, then they’ll also start laughing, so that kinda makes me feel good.”

While being a source of joy to her close relationships brings satisfaction, Ariana explains that she still emphasizes “[T]aking care of myself, [and] my mental health.”

“[Mental health] can definitely take a toll on you if you just shove it to the side, I’ve done that a lot before and so now I’m like no! I gotta focus on myself first, not put everyone ahead of me. I’m trying to get better at it.”

Being a full-time student can also feel like a heavy weight, however, Ariana is working on finding ways to make her academic experience more manageable.

“I feel like I’ve definitely gotten a lot better with my time management skills, but trust me, I’m still very big on procrastination.”

When school’s not on her mind, Ariana is often indulging in the various activities and forms of entertainment she enjoys. Here are just a couple of pieces of media she recommends.

Ariana’s Amusement Advice:

“A tv show I could definitely watch non-stop is The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. It’s about this guy who’s a psychic and he goes to school like every other kid even though he’s super smart… He’s a deadpan kinda guy… It’s really funny.”

“Snapped [is a true-crime documentary series where] they actually interview people who were related to the person who was murdered or the killer. It definitely gets into the nitty-gritty… more personal aspect. [The Morbid Podcast] can get very interesting because they tell it straight up how it is. It’s very informative.”

In the future, Ariana hopes that she’ll “end up being the single rich aunt.”

“I kinda just wanna go off and do something that’ll make me happy and that will make me rich so I don’t have to worry about stuff.”

With hard work and determination, Ariana’s dreams of riches, graceful aging, and a carefree mind will be achieved. She is “a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal”, as Lin-Manuel Miranda would say. Best of luck for the next three years of high school and beyond!