‘Just’ Number One

Paul Chung, along with his fellow classmates, was edgy that Friday morning before advisory. The tension made its way through the hallways and seniors were nervous about their official ranking.“Honestly, it was nerve-racking,”Chung, who is currently ranked number one in the senior class, said. “I knew it was a possibility”.

Paul Chung is president of Origami Club, involved in Model United Nations and draws comics for the Recorder in addition to maintaining his high grade point average. PHOTO BY B. BOLGER

Chung’s journey as one of his class’ most outstanding students started freshman year. However, it was his sophomore year he realized he had a chance of being on the top.

“My freshman year I was in three regular classes, and I was number nineteen,”Chung said. “It was after sophomore year when I thought ‘hey I think I can make this happen.’”

Chung said since his dad went to Harvard and Dartmouth, he has a lot of pressure to get into a good school. However, he believes the most important thing about a school is that it fits the person and what he or she wants to do.

Architecture was Chung’s first aspiration, but lately he has become more inclined to the medical field.

“For forever in my life I wanted to be an architect; I’m very good in drawing,” Chung said.“But recently I have become interested in dentistry because it requires artistic, motor and analytical skills.”

Chung said he has also considered being a cosmetic surgeon, specializing in burn victims.

“I think it would be amazing to help people who had been ostracized, allow them to have self-esteem again. It would be a very rewarding job,” Chung said.

Chung’s SAT score was 2380 and his schedule is full of AP courses. Additionally, Chung is involved in several clubs at school including Youth for Burma, Latin Club, NHS and origami club.

Chung said he is grateful to be “naturally blessed in terms of academic ability.”

“Once I read something, I can remember it very well,” Chung said. “I also do all the work. There’s no trick to it.”
Chung’s biggest sacrifice for school, if any, has been his sleep.

“I haven’t sacrificed a lot for school” Chung said, “I work within my capabilities. I push myself but not to the point that I break.”

Chung expresses how there are many misconceptions of being valedictorian.

“People seem to think that all I do is study. And that’s not true. I’m not a robot.” Chung said, “I still do things, I don’t live in my room, I’m involved in a lot extracurricular stuff around campus and have friends. “

Chung’s ultimate advice for students is to do their best without pushing themselves too hard and to look for things that they are really passionate about.

“The whole world is not made up of valedictorians; there are so many occupations” Chung said. “There are more important things that you can’t quantify, being valedictorian is just a number.”

About Jules Alvarez

Jules Alvarez, originally from Mexico City, is a 2013 Reagan graduate. She loves books, philosophy, indie/alternative music, design and contemporary dance. You can contact her at majulianalvarez94@gmail.com

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