“Don’t overextend yourself in any one aspect of your life,” senior Gabby Smith said.
Smith’s high school experience has been well-rounded, to say the least. She is currently a member of ASB, National Honor Society (NHS) and the Varsity Softball team. Smith strongly believes that “having that balance of school and extracurriculars and friends is really important.”
She plans to attend the University of Chicago — a decision she made based on an unplanned trip to the school. “My family visited Chicago in 2016 on … a random family trip, and then we were like, ‘Oh, let’s go visit the college just for fun,’ and when I went, I totally loved the atmosphere. I liked how there were rigorous academics, but there was also this really deep sense of community,” Smith said.
She hopes to study political science during her time there since she aspires to become a lawyer like her father. However, she has her own path; “I would want to go into a different branch of law: criminal law … I’ve always just been very black and white, [a] ‘justice needs to be served’ kind of person,” Smith said.
Her triumph, however, has not gone without a fair deal of regret. “I wish that freshman year I would have known … that I had more flexibility in the courses that I could take,” Smith said. “Choosing what classes to take freshman and sophomore year really matters because it does affect what classes you can take later that are super important.”
Throughout her high school career, Smith has lots of advice regarding her success. “Staying organized was the thing that helped me the most. I don’t have my papers necessarily organized; everything is just dumped into my backpack … The to-do list really helps; Schoology helps … I prioritize with what’s due tomorrow or what’s the most important assignment, and start from there,” Smith said. “You have to plan ahead when you’re gonna take a standardized test and choose which classes you’re going to take in high school that are going to help you prepare … One thing I do is make to-do lists a lot, so it’s easy to check stuff off and just make sure I’ve done everything I need to.”
Smith stresses the importance of individuality in college applications. “When you know who you are, It’s easy to try and sell yourself to a college, or make yourself seem great because you know who you are.”