Paras Shah

Paras Shah

What are your post-high school plans?

I will be attending University of Missouri, Kansas City, and participating in a six year BA/MD program.

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

The most important thing I learned in high school was undoubtedly the importance of having a balance. Life is a scale that we need to master. Tip too much towards one side, and you may find yourself overworking or underworking. Maintaining a balance while growing as a person is key towards reaching your potential.

What is your favorite high school memory?

My favorite memory was the SASA show during my sophomore year. The SASA show is filled with singing, dancing, and acting, and my sophomore year I helped choreograph one of the many dances. I love being around my peers, and seeing the results of a year's worth of effort at the annual SASA show.

What was your favorite class or learning experience?

My favorite class is Honors Design & Technology, a class that seniors in the Academy are required to take. The essence of the class is a physical project that is worked on throughout the year — brainstorming, designing, organizing, and building your structure. My group and I are creating an arcade basketball hoop, which is incredibly fun.

Share your best advice for incoming freshmen:

Find what you love and pursue it relentlessly. It takes time to find what you love, and you want to make sure that you take a variety of classes and participate in a variety of extracurriculars. Once you find what you're passionate about, make goals for yourself and focus on achieving those goals with integrity and dedication. Take initiatives to explore and develop your passions — there are so many means of developing them.

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

There are many people I acknowledge for my academic success: family, teachers, mentors, and peers. However, the most influential of those groups to my academic success is my family. My family is my support system, and a huge source of my motivation and drive to reach my potential. Their perfect balance of enforced pressure and support have made me progress towards my major goals.

What life lessons or observations have you gained about yourself, and the world, during the 2020-21 school year?

The COVID-19 pandemic has flipped our lives upside down, impacting us all in so many different ways. There are a few positives to take away though, and one of those positives is being adaptable. When the pandemic first struck, being adaptable was crucial for retaining positivity and happiness. The school year has shown me how important our values and health are. We seemed to lose some of the values we carried throughout our everyday lives as the pandemic negatively impacted our mental health, and its shown me how important those values really are to maintaining your personal and professional growth.