The high school graduation now over, students from the Class of 2022 are preparing to set off on the road to college. In this series, we look to learn from some of our seniors more about their learning and growth experiences at Concordia.
Today, we hear from a student whose passion for biology was sparked due a small setback in his studies. Through his perseverance, he has managed to open the door to his dream and is looking forward to exploring life through his scientific studies.
How did you feel when you got the news of your acceptance?
Before that, my opinion was no matter if I got in, it’s fine. But when it actually came time for the admission letter to be released, I just got more and more nervous. Two hours before the results came out, I was actually outside at a friend's house, just playing video games to kind of relieve the stress. As I biked home, I started to realize how nervous I was. I checked my phone and saw that I got in, I called my family over and we celebrated with each other. I called my friend and they were happy for me as well. So, it was a moment that quickly turned from nervousness to happiness.
Do you know already which school you will attend, and can you tell us what makes it a good fit for you?
I will be attending Carnegie Mellon University. When I first did my research, I found this school has a nice and safe location in suburban Pittsburgh and it has a small student body and a student to faculty ratio of 7:1. Both of these factors I strongly considered when researching different colleges.
Is there a particular program or field of study you want to pursue?
I plan on studying biology. I like learning about the molecular interactions between cells. Epidemiology is something that really interests me. Back in my 3rd or 4th grade, my parents bought me two books. One is about viruses and bacteria. It basically talks about how different kinds of viruses have been spread during human history, from smallpox to influenza. Seeing how much these small creatures can change the world interested me so much.
In your opinion, what made your application stand out?
It might be the rigor of the courses I took. I tried to select the hardest courses that are offered each year. For example, last year, I chose AP Chemistry, because I think biology and chemistry is tightly related. I took AP Physics C as well. The courses actually require much independent learning.
Which classes, programs, and/or faculty at Concordia helped support your interest in your planned field of study?
The two consecutive years of biology classes is what really interested me in the field, thanks to Mr. Gordon. He has been my teacher for 3 years. Actually, I can still remember back in freshman year, I failed my very first biology test. After that, my parents and I sat down with Mr. Gordon and talked about what I should do. He was very patient and very willing to teach me some study techniques. My grades went up after that. And also, he teaches very well. He can talk about every concept in detail so we can understand much more than the AP requirement.
Are there any other activities (clubs, teams, projects) that had a significant impact on you during your time at Concordia?
The first club I joined after coming to Concordia was Student Media Services, where I focused on livestreaming. My very first activity in the club was to livestream graduation for parents who cannot enter the school due to Covid. There are a lot of student-run clubs in the high school, and they provide a lot of independence and collaboration.
Do you have any advice for high school students?
A lot of students may find the demands of school quite stressful. But at the end of the day, it’s about finding balance and learning to manage schoolwork, all the extracurricular activities, and having a social life. These experiences are very rare. I feel like a lot of people should probably embrace at least part of it, because there wouldn't be any other opportunities in the future.
Stay tuned for more stories from the Class of 2022 as they continue their journey on the road to college.