I’m a month into my first year at Columbia, and, needless to say, the transition has been tough. Almost no one in my classes knows that I was the class of 2021 valedictorian at Shorewood High School. This past summer, I would walk around my small Wisconsin town like absolute royalty, and everyone would stare in awe at the kid with the 4.3 cumulative GPA (unweighted, by the way). Now, literally no one at this school has asked me how I was able to maintain such good grades while being adored by everyone. I mean, it’s like they just don’t care anymore!
LitHum is especially rough since not even the professor knows I’m smarter than him. I keep trying to bring it up during class, but it just doesn’t feel organic. Last week I wrote a brilliant discussion post about how Odysseus probably wouldn’t have even been salutatorian at my school. I’m just saying, it wouldn’t have taken me ten years to get home.
I just hope this op-ed will spread awareness about this issue that’s really important to me. If you’re reading this, please feel free to share my story in any way possible. I will be holding office hours in Butler this week if anyone would like some tutoring from a high school valedictorian.