Class of ’22 Salutatorian: Olivia Chan

Yearbook photo for Class of 2022 Salutatorian Olivia Chan

Olivia Chan, President of the History Club at Malden High School, has made it to the top three of her senior class. Although making it to the top of her class was a goal for her, she says it wasn’t a goal she would “actively pursue.” 

“I believe it was only until sophomore or junior year when I realized I was in the top 10 by checking Naviance. After that, it was sort of a goal for me to sort of retain my rank because I didn't really want to disappoint myself.”

Chan described her high school experience as a “time for change.” “I feel like I'm a radically different person from when I graduated middle school. I went through different changes like being more open to trying new classes and things that I previously found difficult.”

Among her many achievements, Chan is most proud of taking AP Seminar during her junior year and making the presentation for the college board. “I don't really like speaking in large groups, but I think that AP Seminar was something that really helped me improve my communication skills,” explained Chan. 

Like every student, Chan also faced some difficulties. She explained that during her senior year, she found it sometimes challenging to find the right motivation to get through the year, especially because a lot of her classes were extremely rigorous. “I think my most difficult class was Calculus BC because of the amount of work. Math isn't exactly the subject that I like the most, so I think that in general and finding motivation to get through senior year was the biggest struggle for my high school career.”

In addition to that, COVID also bit into a part of her sophomore year. “I think that some of the topics that I was supposed to learn at the end of sophomore year were a little bit stunted, so I had to put a lot more effort into remembering certain topics going into junior year when we were still online.” Chan also recalled that during remote learning, it was a little bit hard to wake herself up in the morning, but she pushed through it.

After high school, Chan is planning on attending Tufts University to major in Biology and complete a four-year degree. 

Chan’s advice for underclassmen is to give people a chance because “a lot of people are more friendly than you think.” In terms of academics, she says one must make sure to both challenge and pace themselves. “If you find yourself breezing through honors classes, then that might be a sign that you maybe want to try an AP. However, you also don't want to overwhelm yourself because that will only make your grades drop. Go for the challenges, but make sure that you can handle them.”

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