At Ridgeview, many seniors come and go. Many pass through doing simply what is necessary, no more, no less. Others may be able to achieve a bit more, going a bit beyond the average student. However, few manage to reach what can be considered the “top of the class”, a position attained by few, and held by even fewer. They are known as the hardest workers, with a knack for going beyond what is expected of them.
So who are these individuals that have managed to go above and beyond? These include students maintaining 4.5 GPAs at the moment, a feat of academic excellence accomplished by few, as well as maintaining notable status within other extracurricular activities whether they be sports or clubs.
These top students were reached out to, to attain both insight from their endeavors into academic achievement, to see just what exactly did they have to do, what they had to give up, and the struggles that they went through in order to reach where they are now. In addition they were asked for words of wisdom, a message that they can relay to future seniors to help them find inspiration to reach similar heights.
Harmeet Kaur, member of several clubs such as Math Club, STEM Club, and Fundraising 4 Charity, and holding the vice president position for one year, is one of the few who has managed to achieve this. When interviewed, she was asked what was her main motivation for choosing to go as far as she has, to which she explains, “The foundation towards wanting to be top of my class really came from within. I wanted to feel a sense of achievement and prove to myself that I can make a commitment and follow-through.” She then cites her struggles, “I had to choose rigorous classes and often sacrifice my mental health to maintain my grades.”
Her college of choice following graduation will be Bakersfield College, for which she explains her reasoning, “I applied to Bakersfield College because I don’t wish to leave my home town and logically it is more affordable for my prerequisites. Even if I had applied and gotten selected elsewhere I still would have chosen to go to Bakersfield College because my sister attends there.”
For her message towards all future seniors of Ridgeview as they may work to attain the same goal, she states, “If I could say anything to any future senior it would be that there is a lot of competition and often you’re not the best person in the race. You might not even be that smart but take it from me that if you put in the hard work and hustle to achieve your goal you’re going to make it. Because hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
The next student is Emily Cervantes, member of the school’s cross country team and also co-founder and current president of the school’s cooking club. When asked about what steps she had to take in order to reach the point she is currently at, she explains, “The steps I took to reach this point was doing the most I could and, at times, more. I needed to manage my time wisely and sometimes focus on school more than going out and having fun.” She continues, “The classes throughout my entire high school career were always either GATE, Honors, or Advanced Placement. I always tried to stay ahead, so summer school allowed me to enroll and complete 6 years worth of math and 5 years worth of science.” She then continues with the struggles that she had to face in the midst of it all, “As for what I had to give up, it was time spent with family, friends, activities outside of school, and much of my sleep.”
With her academic standing, she explained that she applied to several universities, UC Davis, Irvine, and then CSUB, all of which she has been accepted into and plans to head into a political science major.
Her message to future seniors is as follows, “try to remember to have fun and to breathe when times are tough. The road ahead is long and there will not always be a success, but failure can speak truths of its own. Remember everything starts with the word “maybe” and becomes a guarantee with determination and courage.”
These bright stars will continue on with their academic performance well into their future years, and hopefully they will go on to inspire others to do the same, if not better. For improvement is an option available to anyone, when backed by hard work and dedication.