By: Mary McCourt
For many high school students, grades and academics are the most important and stressful parts of life. Many people say that earning elite grades is an extremely challenging thing to do. For Long Beach senior, Maegan Micotta, discipline, time management, and intellect have helped her earn the title of valedictorian.
As we all know, being the top student in the graduating class is an honor that many strive for. Living life as a high school student is not easy, especially for someone who is academically successful and involved in a multitude of extra curricular activities. I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to sit down and talk with Maegan about her achievement and what led her to such an accomplishment.
Has it always been a goal of yours to be valedictorian?
Subconsciously, yes, I think it was always a goal. I feel like throughout my schooling career from elementary, middle, and high school, I’ve been raised to try to do my best. So in a sense, through putting in all that time and effort, I was reaching for that highest goal. But, it was not at the top of my priority list.
Have you ever felt pressure from your parents to do well in school?
Not necessarily parents. My parents have always been really supportive of me. They don’t usually check up on me when I’m doing work. They trust me. I actually feel the most pressure from myself, out of anybody. I’m always pushing myself the hardest. I’m always telling myself that I’m my own worst critic. And it’s true.
Do you feel like you are too hard on yourself sometimes?
Definitely. I always feel like I’m too hard on myself. For me, it means that I’m passionate about something. If I’m hard on myself about something that I’m doing, it means that I want it to be done well.
Do you have any ideas on what college you may be attending next fall?
I don’t, no. I have a list of some schools I am interested in, as most seniors do. I do feel like as long as the school I go to has the programs I am interested in, I will be happy wherever I go.
Some schools Maegan is interested in are: Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern, NYU, SUNY Potsdam, Hofstra and Tulane.
Do you know what you might want to major in?
This is kind of a un-valedictorian answer, (Maegan jokes), but I’m very interested in music. I always have been. It is my passion, and I’d love to combine that with some type of technology, business, or a completely different field such as foreign language. However, I’m mainly thinking about majoring in a music and science course. Musically, I sing, act, and dabble on the piano and ukulele.
Do you think it was worth all the work? The pressure? The studying?
Yeah, absolutely! Even being considered in the top 25% was worth all the work, but to know that I was number one makes me feel like all of that blood, sweat, and tears went to something.
Have you ever gotten a bad grade on something?
I used to take German in elementary school, and I received a 55 on a test. After, I started sobbing. When I get bad grades it just pushes me harder.
Have you ever felt pressure or competition from your peers?
The senior grade is very, very competitive in academics. We are all extraordinarily intelligent, so I suppose I did feel some pressure from the rest of my classmates.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to succeed in high school?
Focus on time management because it gets worse as you progress through the years. You are going to get larger workloads from each of the classes. While the work may seem easy, much of it is tedious and will take a large amount of your time. So, you really need to keep a good balance between your schoolwork and social life.
Along with being one of Long Beach High School’s most prestigious academic students, Maegan is involved in a myriad of extracurricular activities. She participates in the school shows, GSA, Model Congress, National Honor Society, Tri-M music honor society, and Jazz and Show choir.
All of the hard work and dedication to school did pay off for Maegan, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.