Ranking second out of her class, Rasmee Ky’s achievements have led her to attend the world-renown Harvard University. So far, given the current circumstances and the pandemic, the experience has been going well for her.
Right now, all of Ky’s classes are online. Despite this virtual format, she explained that “the content of [her] courses has still been very engaging, and all the professors are both incredibly knowledgeable and very approachable.” She has been able to get involved with the school in other ways as well, such as debating with the Harvard University Debating Union and beginning the process of joining the Editorial Board for The Crimson which is a major student-run newspaper on campus.
Compared to her junior and senior years of high school, Ky said that she has been taking things pretty easy. She stated that “I have more time to sleep and go for jogs in the morning,” something that proved more difficult to keep up with at Malden High.
While still at Malden High, Ky was involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities. She was the Youth Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts for a program run by the YMCA (“Youth and Government”), Vice President of the Psychology Club, a student ambassador for Summer Search, vice-chair of the Malden Youth Civics Council, and ran cross country for three years.
Something she became passionate about in high school was the Speech and Debate team, which she was a part of for all four years. “[She] cared a lot about trying to improve the team, and help coach my teammates to the best of my ability.” She added that advisers Kurtis Scheer and Patrick Finnegan were always incredibly supportive of the Speech and Debate team, which has helped her grow.
The students at Malden High have also had a big impact on Ky. She is grateful for the numerous perspectives and life experiences they have shown her, as well as the safe environment where students could openly share and accept each other's differences. Being in this type of environment has taught her to never make assumptions about other people. Everyone’s lives “can be so drastically different, but at the same time, we also share many of the same hopes, fears, and values that always make empathy possible.”
While Ky is incredibly thankful for everything the Malden High community has done for her, her biggest inspiration and motivation has always been her family. Her parents have always provided her with “all the support [she] ever needed,” and she explained how “their perseverance in the face of adversity reminds me to always devote my full effort to my goals. All [she wanted] to do is make the most out of all the blessings [her] family has given [her].”
When applying for college, something that proved to be extremely stressful was the application process. “[She] applied to 18 colleges because [she] wanted to aim for selective schools, but [she] doubted that [she] would actually get accepted to most of the schools,” Ky explained. “Thankfully, [Ky] had support from Bottom Line, Summer Search, and the staff at [Malden High] throughout [her] application process.” Luckily for Ky, everything ended up working in her favor, since she now attends one of the most reputable schools in the world.
When asked about any advice she would want to give to her younger self or things she wished she had done, Ky said that she wouldn’t want to change anything. She explained that she had her fair share of mistakes and she did things that she ultimately regrets, but after spending time reflecting on her high school career she realized that the “most important lessons that [she has] learned came from [her] missteps.” She expressed that “no advice can be nearly as impactful as actually going through the experience of failing or making a wrong choice.” She continued adding that “in the long run, everything will turn out fine as long as you keep learning and growing every step of the way.”
As for the future, Ky does not have a decided career path that she wants to take yet, although she is certain that Harvard will open up many possibilities for her as she continues to explore various classes, clubs, and talk to as many new people as she can. She has been considering a major in either economics or statistics, which she mentioned were two of her favorite subjects while in her senior year at Malden High. Ultimately, Ky hopes that “in the future, [she] will be able to take all the lessons [she has] learned both in high school and in college and put them all towards a career that will give back to the world.”