Seniors Excel in Academics

May 7, 2020

Andrei Krozel

What academic clubs/activities did you participate in?

                • I participated in eSports club, chess club, and robotics club, and was the treasurer for Mu Alpha Theta.

Which was your favorite activity to participate in?

                • My favorite club to participate in was probably eSports club because I got to hang out with a ton of friends and play video games. My favorite eSports club event was the Super Smash Bros tournament held in the library with a ton of people. Asher did a great job of setting that up.

What was your favorite AP/honors class?

  • My favorite AP class was probably AP Calculus BC. I really enjoy learning math and the class was really fast-paced, so I learned something new and interesting almost every class. Ms. Overby was also a really great teacher and a lot of my classmates were as serious about learning as I was. Grant Giles took the class particularly seriously, and I really enjoyed sitting next to him and Grant Johnson who was also no slouch.

How much time per week would you estimate you spent on academic work?

  • During my freshman year, I probably spent about five hours per week on academic work. That number likely increased every year. For my senior year, I probably spent about 20 hours per week on academic work. During “eLearning,” I think that went down to about nine hours per week. Of course, the amount of academic work I had per week varied. The most time I spent on academic work in a week was probably about 60 hours since I would spend almost all of my time studying before AP tests and finals.

What was the most challenging part of taking on so many advanced classes and academic activities?

  • Taking six AP classes and one honors class during my senior year meant that I had a lot of homework and difficult tests that I had to study for. Sometimes school work would pile up, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get everything done. My teachers were understanding of this and allowed me to turn in work a bit late if I had to at times. Of course there’s also the issue of test dates coinciding. When that happened, I would sometimes ask if I could take one of the tests early.

How did you stay motivated?

  • I took a lot of classes that I didn’t have much previous exposure to. I think it was worth putting effort into those classes to see if I might develop a liking for them. Other classes like English taught important skills that I will need for college and whatever job I might get. Of course there are also certain subjects like math and physics that I’m extremely interested in. It’s not hard to stay motivated for those classes. Another motivation is that I barely avoided getting a B during my freshman year, so I decided to try to never get a B in high school, and I’ve never gotten a B. I also have the mentality that if I put in enough effort, I should be able to do as well as anyone in any subject. Sometimes I’m tempted to play video games when I need to do school work, but I always just tell myself that I can spend a ton of time playing video games after I get all of my work done.

Who is your biggest role model?

  • My biggest role models are probably my parents. My dad has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton and my mom has an MD and works as a child psychiatrist for Wash U. Both of them are really smart and worked hard in school. I also like my dad’s goofy sense of humor.

Have you won any scholarly awards?

  • I got a science department award at honors evening at the end of my freshman and junior years and a math department award at the end of my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. I don’t know if I will get any department awards at the end of my senior year because honors evening was delayed due to COVID-19, but I suspect that I may get a few. I also got the Harvard Book Award at the end of my junior year. I got 5’s on three AP tests so far and 4’s on three others. I got a certificate for placing in the top ten of my division at the Excellence in Mathematics Competition during my senior year. I also got a perfect score on one of the WordWright reading competitions.

Why is school important to you?

  • School is a place where I can learn about a lot of different topics. Also, my preferred career choices will require years of schooling.

Do you plan to continue some of the academic clubs/activities in college?

  • I’m pretty sure that Wash U has a chess club and a Smash Bros club, so I will probably participate in those. Wash U holds weekly and monthly Smash Bros tournaments, so I will likely go to those frequently.
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Saloni Shringarpure

What academic clubs/activities did you participate in?

            • I participated in a lot of clubs: I was the President of NHS and President of Mu Alpha Theta my senior year, I was the Lead Coordinator for running Day of Service this year as well as last year, I heavily participated in FBLA, International Thespian Society (theatre), Book Battle, and Psi Alpha. 

Which was your favorite activity to participate in?

            • It is hard to pick a favorite, as all the clubs have given me some of my most treasured memories and friendships. If I were to pick one that has given me the most, it would have to be theatre. I worked in many different positions, including Properties Lead and Assistant Stage Manager, and over the course of the five years that I’ve been in theatre, I’ve found some of my closest friends. There is a support system present in our community unlike any other. We lift each other’s spirits and encourage each other constantly. I’ve found it to be one of the rarest things that I’m grateful for.

What was your favorite AP/honors class?

  • My favorite AP class is probably AP Psychology. It’s absolutely fascinating to study human behavior and why we behave the way that we do, and cognition, biology, etc. play a role in all of it. When people experience disorders or act out of the norm, a lot of the time it can be traced back to the brain, and being a biology nerd, I love learning about that aspect.

How much time per week would you estimate you spent on academic work?

  • Outside of school, I spend roughly 50 hours a week on academic work. It fluctuates depending on whether it’s testing season.

What was the most challenging part of taking on so many advanced classes and academic activities?

  • The most challenging part of taking on so many advanced classes and activities has to be time management. It can get extremely exhausting to juggle all of these, and you’ll frequently have to prioritize your work. For example, if I have quite a bit of homework due or a test the next day at school, I would have to choose studying over staying after for a club I enjoy. With enough order and organization, though, it’s possible!

How did you stay motivated?

  • I have always been a person with a plan. I have an outline of my next few years of life mapped out, a dream job I have to achieve. My aspiration in life is to go to med school and become a healthcare professional, like those on the front lines today during this pandemic. My motivation came from the knowledge that if I always challenged myself to be better than I was yesterday, I’d be able to eventually achieve this dream and save lives in the future. 

Who is your biggest role model?

  • My biggest role model is my father, for sure. I am very much like him, in the sense that he also loves having a plan for the future. He’s always wanted the best for me and cultivated ambition in me, completely believing that I have the potential to achieve all of my dreams. He’s the best support system one could ask for, and his belief in my potential drives me.

Have you won any scholarly awards?

  • I have won a few scholarly awards, including the National Merit Commended Award, The Smith College Book Award, the AP Scholar with Distinction, and many other FBLA, ITS, and departmental awards. 

Why is school important to you?

  • School is extremely important to me because it is my stepping stone that allows me to learn and grow. I’m grateful for this incredible resource that not only gives me the opportunity to explore my interests but allows me to form stronger connections with peers like me. Many kids out there don’t get access to school, and I think it’s the responsibility of those who do have these opportunities to one day give back and help as many kids as possible explore their dreams, as well. 

Do you plan to continue some of the academic clubs/activities in college?

  • I definitely plan to continue participating in similar clubs and activities in college, especially theatre and perhaps some form of student government. I know that college is even more work- especially since there are GPA requirements to uphold to be part of programs such as Med Scholars- so I’m grateful that I’ve gotten the opportunity in high school to learn how to time manage and keep my grades up at the same time.
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