Om Nimesh Patel will be attending the University of South Florida.
Where are you going to college and what will your major be?
I will be attending University of South Florida starting this fall and my major will be Biomedical Engineering.
What about college are you most excited for?
I think I’m most excited about taking courses that will actually be applicable in real life.
When did you first realize you were going to be in the top two of your class? How did you react?
My suspicions were confirmed on the day of senior breakfast when I was told that I was part of the Honor Circle as well as attaining the title of Salutatorian. Being recognized in front my graduating class, I felt an unbelievable amount of exhilaration.
What advice would you give students who want to be their school’s next valedictorian or salutatorian?
I truly believe that anyone can achieve top of their class but this is based on two key factors, motivation and effort. Without motivation, you have no reason and without effort, you won’t achieve your goal. A simple but applicable analogy is swimming away from a shark. Motivation is not to get bit, whereas the effort is swimming away as fast as possible.
What’s something you wish you knew about high school ahead of time?
I wish I knew not to worry and panic about the smallest things in freshman year. The stressing was so unnecessary because as time went on, I realized that there was no need for any stressing or worrying as it was simply a waste of time and energy. I could be learning something new or solidifying my foundations about a subject instead of crying over a simple homework assignment. I wish the present me could travel back in time and tell my past self to simply relax and move forward with one step instead of giant leaps.
What’s the best thing one of your teachers has taught you while in high school?
One of my teachers told me nothing is ever certain so question everything. Questions lead to answers which lead to more questions which leads to knowledge… and more questions.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your high school experience?
It has affected many of the classes offered at school. One of my classes was fully online while I was attending school physically but due to the kindness of the best math teacher ever, he still taught us the entire year. Moreover, many of my classes were less than ten kids and there were also quarantines which restricted a student from attending school for a time period. This pandemic has resulted in a large deviation from what we’d consider typical daily life, but as the pandemic ends, I hope to go back to the good ‘ol days.
What extracurricular activities were you involved in during high school?
I was involved in FFA, HOSA, FBLA, Science Club, Math League, and NHS during my time at high school.
What do you hope to do in life after college?
I hope to change the world.