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.