Lin achieves first in her class through hard work and dedication

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Lin achieves first in her class through hard work and dedication

Carlie Lin

Carlie Lin

Carlie Lin

Amanda Beyer, Staff Writer

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For valedictorian Carlie Lin, ‘19, the years ahead are bright and open for success. In reaching her achievement as top of her class, she has both exemplified the C.L.A.S.S. of a Bronco and prepared herself for a promising future. 

“It’s exciting . . . I wasn’t trying to do anything, but then I thought ‘Oh, I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life’, and I realized that in taking my classes, I took something from everything. I’m doing something that’s really broad in my future career, so I really did learn something from all of my classes. I’m doing a statistics major, so career-wise, that’s what I mean by putting myself up to a lot of options. With a statistics degree, you can do a lot of careers… My dream job would be to have my own consulting for helping kids get into college… I think that would be a lot of fun, especially with my time in AVID,” said Lin. 

Despite the appeal of the valedictorian title and the competition that it often entails, Lin is close with those who also performed highly. 

“I’d say a lot of people definitely deserve it, and I wouldn’t say I’m the smartest person. I think they’re all competitive, but they’re all my friends, so I’m very proud of them, too,” Lin said.

The achievement of valedictorian is often venerated as one the most difficult in a high school because of all the work that it requires, but Lin is encouraging about the management of her schedule throughout the years and the purpose that each class served. 

 “It got easier with each class that I took… Then it was like ‘Oh, this is fun’. The harder classes were when I was an underclassman; when you become a junior or senior, you get the hang of it. With my experience, I really liked how it prepared me for different things. Even though some people see an English class and think they teach you writing, they teach you grammar, et cetera, really it teaches you how to do well in your other classes, too,” explained Lin.

Though the title of valedictorian demonstrates that success tends to come with rewards, Lin’s motivation is largely intrinsic, which she attributes to the way that she grew up. 

“My family in general is very intelligent, but I think they have the best type of parenting because they were never very authoritarian with me,” Lin said. “They kind of just let me do what I want, and that actually was what made me motivated because without someone breathing down my neck to tell me ‘This is what you have to do,’ I was like ‘Oh, this is what I like to do,’ and then I decided to pursue what interests me instead of feeling trapped like some other people’s parents might make them feel. My parents really inspired me- they never pushed me, but they always encouraged me to do what I thought was best, and I think that really helped me . . . I’ve always pushed myself, but I’ve enjoyed it.”

Besides her achievement as top of the class, Lin is an outstanding Bronco and represents C.L.A.S.S. through her commitment and involvement on campus. For example, she is involved in and holds board positions for Link Crew, Interact Club, and National Honor Society. For Lin, such groups have helped shape the high school experience. 

“My favorite memory from Vista was obviously orientation with the freshmen because I’m in Link Crew and honestly just getting to know my freshman for the first time was really great,” recalled Lin. “Also, being with my fellow Link Crew leaders- they say that in Link Crew, the fellow leaders are going to be like your family, and they really are. Most of my friends are in Link Crew, so just getting to spend time with them, being high energy, and meeting your freshman for the first time that day is just so important to making an impact on what they think Vista is, but it’s also really fun because you get to play games and hang out with people you love . . . it’s just a really great time.” 

Lin does not allow her workload or her extracurriculars to prevent her to take away from more relaxing activities that she enjoys, like sewing and watching travel videos. She also pays mind to her sleep, something that many highly academic students reputedly neglect. 

“I actually got eight hours of sleep each night; some people might ask how you do that with all of that, but I think it made me more efficient. A lot of people, when they do their homework, are not conscious without sleep, so the quality of the work… is not as good. I think it’s just efficient to sleep and block out your time, and be honest with yourself about how long things take you… you have to be hard on yourself sometimes, but in the end, it’s not as bad as most people think,” said Lin.

In taking interesting and challenging classes, students typically are introduced to equally interesting and challenging teachers. Lin named math teacher Rosaria Priolo-Applegate as the teacher who had influenced her the most. 

“I only had her one year,” Lin noted, “but she was always there for me, inspired me to work hard, and always gave me the opportunity to achieve more if I needed it.”

Lin is going to the University of California, Los Angeles in the fall. She advises underclassmen who are interested in pursuing schools of similar high acclaim to be consistent and honest. 

“If you want to get into a good college, honestly, I wouldn’t stress too much,” Lin advised. “I think people who stress too much might overwork themselves, maybe burn themselves out . . . Instead of being, like, super stressed out all the time, if you just keep the ball rolling at a steady pace, you should be able to achieve your dreams, taking those classes and also making sure that you have those extracurriculars and leadership. As long as you’ve worked hard on your essays- that’s definitely the one thing- and you know what you want to do. They like to see that you have a vision because they want you to do something for their college. Obviously, you don’t have to know what you’re going to do in the future, but if it just seems that you’re motivated and you’re genuine, you don’t have to be an NBA player. As long as you are steady, reach out, do what you can, don’t drop the ball, and just be a genuine person- they really do see that- you’ll do well.” 

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