Ready for a fresh start in her life, senior Cleverina Cong will be graduating as the top ranked student for the class of 2017. Cong will be starting this new chapter in her life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her “dream school.” She will be majoring in computer science and minoring in management. Computer science has always been her favorite subject in high school, she “[finds] the aspects of logic and problem-solving fun — writing a program is essentially like solving a puzzle, where you have to figure out what pieces go where and what pieces connect to each other.”
Along with a heavy schedule, Cong was also involved in many clubs and sports. She has been a part of the soccer team, swim team and outdoor track team and she does plan on trying out for the MIT soccer team. Clubs that Cong has taken part in are National Honors Society and the Robotics team. Cong also has a passion for music and can play the piano and flute. “[She has] also been trying to teach [herself] how to [play] the guitar and ukulele.” Throughout high school, she often struggled with maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, “balancing multiple AP classes, high school sports, club sports, and trying to maintain a social life was pretty difficult, especially because [she’s] both a perfectionist and a serious procrastinator.”
Reflecting on freshman year, Cong has seen that she has changed throughout the years. Her freshman year she “was super shy, socially awkward, and emotionally inarticulate.” “ [She has] learned to be more open and less wary of judgment. [She has] not only grown a lot more comfortable with others, but also with [herself]. [She’s] not afraid to stand up and speak in front of a room full of people anymore.”
The highlight of Cong’s high school career was winning the Botball New England Regional Tournament. She stated that, “it felt amazing to come in as underdogs, and come out on top, undefeated. What made this even more special was that [she] was able to experience this alongside [her] best friends.”
One thing that Cong will miss about MHS is the atmosphere. “The student body is super diverse and accepting,” and “[she] can literally walk down the hall dabbing without being questioned.” She will also miss computer science teacher Paul Marques and physics teacher Brian Morrison. She explained that their, “unconventional, yet effective approaches to teaching made learning something to look forward to, rather than dreading, because they kept [her] interested with their energetic personalities and entertaining stories.” Morrison will miss “her ability to work hard, her commitment and her personality,” and he hopes that she “will make every moment count.”
Coming to the end of her high school career, Cong “[knows] that transitioning from high school to an academically rigorous college like MIT won’t be easy, but there’s an aspect of excitement to challenges.” She has gotten a “taste of the life and culture there,” and is ready to start and make her mark.
She advises underclassmen to “take calculated risks that make sense” and to not “be afraid to stand out, and don’t let fear of failure hold you back.”