Mason Norton


Q: What clubs/activities are you engaged in at your school?

A: The only thing that I’m in at school is the GSA (Gay-straight alliance), which I run.


Q: What do you want/plan to do after high school?

A: I’m going to start working and figure out what I have to do to become a body piercer. 


Q: What is your best memory from senior year?

A: There was a time when my advisor was out on maternity leave so we had a sub for advisory. The sub came into the room complaining about a smell, saying a mouse died, she went to turn the fan on and the dead mouse was in the fan. The funny part was she started screaming and running away from it and told one of my classmates to get it out. Instead, he took the fan and walked over to her with it and she started freaking, my classmate started singing for the dead mouse, it was a funny time.


Q: What is your best memory from high school?

A: I wouldn’t say there’s one specific memory but we would have Halloween costume contests every year. It was really enjoyable every year to see students’ costumes.


Q: What is your greatest achievement?

A: Getting through Spanish 2 and getting the highest grade I ever got in that class on my quarter four benchmark. Sophomore year was my most stressful year because of Spanish 2. Being able to end it on such a good note with close to a 90 was such a good feeling.


Q: What is one thing you’ll miss about SLA Beeber?

A: I’ll miss a good amount of the teachers and even some students. Of course there’s a couple friends that I’m going to continue keeping in touch with. However, some friends just stay in high school and I'll miss being able to spend classes with them at least.


Q: How has your high school experience shaped you?

A: I think it’s made me more outgoing or at least taught me how to deal with things I don’t want to do and how to get through it. Back in middle school, I was really closed off and shy and I never talked to anyone but my friend group. The transition to high school really brought me out of my shell by making me work with new people. You have to learn to communicate to get things done and all that so yeah, I made a lot more friends and was okay with talking to most people in my classes.


Q: What has been your most formative high school experience?

A: I don’t think there’s one experience but during classes we would have debates or discussions where we we're required to talk in order to get a grade. These things really helped me speak up and say things I’m thinking instead of being so nervous to talk about what I’m thinking.


Q: Do you have any advice to give to incoming freshmen?

A: Almost everything you’re going to learn might seem very pointless but try to gain the mindset of doing things because you have to even if you don’t want to. I’m ending with the grades I am because I got through school with that mentality. It’s worth it in the long run if you’re definitely going to do something that requires higher education.


Q: How are you feeling during the quarantine? What are you doing to keep yourself engaged?

A: I’m not feeling too great about it, mainly because I feel really trapped. It's scary because everybody except me in my house is high risk and my mom is an essential worker. But I've been catching up on shows I gave up on a long time ago and I’ve been attending my online classes and all that. I just have to keep reminding myself that this won’t last forever.


Q: How do you feel about your senior year being cut short?

A: After being out of school for so long, I’ve realized that school was such a huge reason why I felt so negative all the time. All the sleep deprivation and stress was causing it so being home has actually been not too terrible. It kind of sucks because I won’t be able to experience everything everyone else who's had a senior year has experienced. But my mental health has gotten better overall so that’s a positive change I guess.


Q: If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?

A: I think I would make it how it used to be again. My class is the fourth ever class of my high school so things are kinda different now then they were in the beginning. We’ve got cameras and a middle school now. I understand the school has to progress though, so it’s nice to see the school evolve but keep some aspects the same.


Q: If you could change one thing about the school district, what would it be?

A: How they set up the work. A lot of the stuff I’ve learned in the past almost four years I’ve already forgotten and I don’t need most of it. I think that the curriculum, not just in our school district but everywhere, should teach kids things that we need to know after high school. Skills like how to prole taxes, how to be smart with money, how to change oil or tire on a car. I'd like to have learned all that so I wouldn’t be lost for when the time comes when I do need to do it.


Q: If you could change one thing about Philadelphia, what would it be?

A: I feel like Philly has a lot of food deserts, this really negatively affects the people who live in those areas. These food deserts cause weight gain and stuff even if the person doesn’t want to eat the way they have to because they have no choice. I think that there should be improvements made to those areas so people can get the food they want and need without having so many obstacles.


Q: Lastly, would you like to share an excerpt of your college essay? 

A: “I know I’m not done with the vast world we have in our hands, and I love the art and beauty it has to offer.”