Abby Culloton

Abby Culloton

What school will you be attending in the fall?

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

What Major will you study?

Environmental Engineering

What is the most important thing you learned in high school?

The most important thing I learned in high school was how to be more confident in myself and my own voice. I've always been an introvert, but throughout high school, I've learned how to come out of my shell and be more confident in my opinions and ideas. I've taken a lot of small steps to challenge myself to speak out or make a change, whether it was by joining the Principal's Advisory Committee or by simply raising my hand in class more frequently, but these small steps have led to greater opportunities, like working to start a recycling program at SEHS. I've definitely grown in my self-confidence and ability to speak out and make a difference in the things I do, and I'm excited to keep growing and see the positive impact I can make in the future.

What is your favorite high school memory?

Playing percussion in the pit for the school musicals each year has been my favorite part of high school. Each show has been unique and exciting to be a part of, but my favorite was definitely The Little Mermaid. Playing the opening xylophone solo in "Under the Sea" every night was a special experience that I'll never forget because it was basically a dream come true for me to play one of my favorite parts from my favorite Disney movie.

What was your favorite class or learning experience?

PLTW Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA) was definitely my favorite class because we applied math and science principles to real-world situations and worked on solving problems in a real-life context. In addition, we blended art and design concepts with a typical engineering class, which really challenged me to think creatively to come up with unique solutions to the problems we were given.

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

My best advice can be summarized with the Walt Disney quote, "Why worry? If you've done the very best you can, worrying won't make it any better." Throughout high school, I spent a lot of time stressing about making everything perfect, but I've learned that just doing my best on an assignment and accepting that it won't always be perfect has helped me to reduce my stress about school greatly. I believe that as long as you've done your best on something, there's no need to stress about it because often times, your best is much better than you thought it was.

What or who do you account for your academic success and ranking in the top 2 percent of your senior class?

My family has always been there to support me through both my successes and failures. They have always pushed me to do my best, but have always been supportive and encouraging no matter how well I do, which is something I am incredibly grateful for.