By: Emily Hulbert
Everyone knows that life for almost all high school students is filled with chaos and anxiety. From writing essays to studying for tests, students are overwhelmed with a large amount of schoolwork that consumes most of their free time. Amidst the stress, sometimes students forget that their hard work will pay off in the long run. At the end of their high school career, students who worked diligently and demonstrated a relentless work ethic will definitely feel more prepared than those students who slacked off. Who better to demonstrate the benefit of hard work than Alexandra Kapilian, Long Beach High School’s 2015-2016 Valedictorian. Lexie was eager to share her exciting journey of becoming valedictorian and offer some advice that helped her reach this amazing goal. If anyone has a dream of achieving the highest overall average in his/her class, read on because this might be the only opportunity to pick the brain of the valedictorian.
Have you always had a goal of becoming valedictorian?
My goal was to do my personal best. If I ever felt I could do better, I worked until I did; I never wanted to waste an opportunity. I feel honored to be recognized for my work ethic!
What are some of the colleges that you are applying to? What do you plan on majoring in?
My full list of schools is still evolving, but I know that I want to double major in Biology or Biomedical Engineering or Neuroscience and Music. I am fascinated by the biological sciences and music equally so I want to have the opportunity to study both fields. My interests are really specific so I am trying to find schools that have terrific academic and creative programs.
Are there any study techniques that you use to achieve good grades in school?
I spend multiple hours before exams and quizzes looking through all of my notes and I study from as many review materials as I can find, including textbooks and workbooks. Students sometimes ask me if I enjoy studying. I do not enjoy studying; I enjoy learning. There is a huge difference between the two! However, by reviewing everything, I always feel like I am prepared for anything.
What will you miss most when you leave LBHS?
Describe what happened when you found out that you were valedictorian.
For many weeks, other students told me that they thought I would become the Valedictorian, but I refused to believe it until I heard it announced. I was sitting in IB biology when Mr. Stroud came over the loud speakers with the much-anticipated announcement. I felt really proud to hear my name called; the whole class began cheering and everyone congratulated me. It was really exciting! I felt as though four years of hard work were finally recognized and worth the effort!
What advice do you have for students who might want to become valedictorian in the future?
Work hard and balance your time focusing on academics with something you love. You have to give yourself a lot of time to complete assignments and study, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy your high school experience. If I did not make time to enjoy fields that I am passionate about, such as music, I never would have succeeded. And be honest! Honesty is the most valuable quality a person could ever have. Lastly, take yoga instead of gym. It will be the most relaxing part of your day and it is a complete necessity after a stressful class!
What do you do for fun when you are not focusing on school?
I spend most of my free time during the year playing music. I have participated in nearly every type of performing group at LBHS and spend my summers studying music, so I plan to continue this passion in college. My main instruments are bassoon and voice, but I also play clarinet and am working on piano, guitar and oboe. I also love participating in other creative activities, including The Morning Show and the dramas and musicals. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, going to classical music concerts and seeing Broadway shows.
What are some of your duties as valedictorian?
I think my duty as valedictorian is to be a role model for students in my grade and for younger students. Through my diligent work effort, integrity and leadership roles in and out of school, I believe I have displayed that honest, hard work really is rewarded! I hope that my efforts inspire younger students to reach their maximum potential as well. I look forward to giving my Valedictory address to the student body in June.
Congratulations to Alexandra Kapilian for being Long Beach High School’s 2015-2016 Valedictorian! We look forward to hearing more about all of your great achievements in the future.