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Q&A with Distinguished Graduate Rachael Tan

How did you find out you were the Distinguished Grad?

I was handed a pink slip (during fourth period). To be honest, I was kind of scared because usually pink slips mean not good things….So I went down and sat (in the main office), and then Dr. Harmas invited me inside. We sat down, he asked me my future plans and then he was like “Oh! How would you like to know that you are the Distinguished Grad?”

What was your initial reaction when you found out you were the Distinguished Grad?

I was just straight up in disbelief, and then I got home and was like “Oh my god,”…but I’m excited and very honored to be it.

Was Distinguished Grad a goal you had through high school?

It didn’t really occur to me as something until maybe around junior year…when I was thinking about activities…So at that point I was like ‘Oh, that’s a thing, maybe I should apply for it and see how far I’ve gotten.’

What advice do you have for others who hope to be the Distinguished Grad?

I guess being Distinguished Grad isn’t an award I would necessarily say to strive for. I think, by all means, challenge yourself to do new things and try them out, but if you participate in an activity with the sole purpose to be Distinguished Grad, you need to rethink your priorities…Do what you like first.

Do you feel like this award means more to you because your brother, Patrick Tan ‘14, also got it?

I think it’s kind of cool, just because this is almost kind of in a sense making your own family’s history. It kind of does feel a little bit more special…There’s that little tinge of pride where it’s like ‘Hey, my brother made it and I did too.’ So, I definitely felt something additional other than just excitement of being the Distinguished Grad.

What are your plans for next year?

I have decided to attend Purdue University (for) engineering.

Here are some of the activities Tan was involved in:

-Chemistry Club

-Science Olympiad

-Math Club

HiLite

-TedX

-Cross-country

-NHS

-GKOM

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