Photo by Lauren Ramos
Every day, students across the nation juggle multiple responsibilities; from jobs to homework to extracurriculars, many students have a full plate. Staff member and Head Photographer for Mililani Times Senior Anika Ramos is a student who does it all — teaching piano lessons on Wednesdays and Fridays, church, homework, as well as the photography for Mililani Times.
Many people can define themselves as either an early bird or a night owl, for Ramos she enjoys being a morning person. She starts off her day early, waking up at 5:20 — before getting out of bed she says a prayer to start her day. Getting ready takes her about 15 to 20 minutes, after that she goes and makes herself breakfast, usually cereal or bread. “Because I have seminary at 6:30 and it’s basically to help me with the spiritual side of my life, the spiritual aspects. 5:30 instead of 6:00 because it takes me awhile to get ready and I feel that it’s important for me to start off my day with extra time to think about things I have to do since I’m kind of high wire sometimes,” said Ramos.
Ramos is a member of the Church of Jesus Christof Latter Day Saints or LDS for short. At 6:26 a.m. she arrives at church for her early morning seminary class and plays the piano for their hymns. Seminary is a time for high school students to study their gospel, scriptures and faith — for Ramos, her faith has been a big aspect of her life. “It’s been one of the most pivotal learning experiences in my life or — and it’s gonna continue teaching me to learn because one of the things about church is it’s a continual progression because I’m making mistakes left and right, every single week, every single day. Maybe every single hour, I don’t know how it works. But church has helped me become a better person, to think about my actions, to think more humanistically, to be a lot more empathetic,” said Ramos.
Along with seminary, she also participates in service activities with her church. This night was a mutual night where groups of young women and men get together to socialize and build relationships. Within the young women there are three different age groups: Laurels, ages 15 to 18, Mia Maids, ages 13 to 15 and Beehives, ages 11 to 13. “So I’m a Laurel and with my Laurel group that day we were making enchiladas, enchilada dinners like frozen dinners for people that would need them because they’re busy some nights so they can’t make themselves dinner so they have dinner for themselves,” said Ramos.
For the past four years Ramos has been a piano teacher, teaching 30 minute lessons to five students total. On Wednesdays she teaches at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m., on Fridays she’ll teach at 3:40 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. She started playing piano at the age of six and began teaching lessons at the age of 14. “My mom sent out a rumor in church that I was going to teach piano because she wanted me to get a job. That’s how I remember it, I don’t know about my mom’s side of the story. But from my perspective, she wanted me to start teaching piano and I was like okay sure, yeah. So she sent it around church that I was going to start teaching piano for $8 and I got one student, she was my first student,” said Ramos.
On most days, Ramos gets home around 3:30 p.m., her schedule may change depending on what she has to do. From 4:00 to 11:00 p.m., she will take a nap, practice piano, weed the garden, do homework, eat dinner and complete chores. Ramos finishes her night by writing in her journal to get down her thoughts and unwind. “One of my main routines is writing in my journal, I like to try to write every day. I try to be consistent because there’s this neat thing where if you go back a year you can see what you did that year. So that’s what I want to try and do this year and also it just helps as a stress reliever because one of my main important things is mental health,”said Ramos.