Every morning two alarm clocks go off simultaneously from opposite sides of my room. I stumble into the kitchen, sore from yesterday’s workout, and crack five eggs into a pan. A few hours later I’m heading to work, where I might spend anywhere from three to ten hours in my chemistry lab. A student intern at the National Cancer Institute, I’m currently researching drugs to treat colon cancer and other diseases. A few weeks ago my work won me the grand prize at the Frederick County Science Fair for the second year in a row, and a weeklong trip to Phoenix, Arizona to compete in the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
As a homeschooled senior, I have a lot of freedom and flexibility to structure my schedule the way it works best for me. After work I go to soccer practice or the gym, sometimes both in the same day. I spend my evenings hanging out with friends or practicing piano and studying. This is my life: sports, fitness, school, music, friends. A lot of kids spend their Friday nights drinking and partying, but that’s not my thing. I’ve made the choice to stay physically and mentally in shape. I still haven’t decided where to go to college—I have Harvard, Princeton and Yale to choose from—but what I do know is that I want to take this life with me to college and beyond.