National Merit Semi-Finalists Share Secrets to Success

BY NOLAN BELLER & JAKE GOERTZ

Previously published in “The Mount” a publication produced by the staff of Mount Michael’s Journalism team. Follow the journalism team via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube links on https://mountonline.org

 

WILL BREWSTER
SPORTS: Football, basketball, baseball
Favorite Subject: Calculus
Future Aspirations: Civil EngineerQ: Why have you been so successful in academics at Mount Michael?
A: “I have been successful at Mount Michael because of the great teachers we have who personally connect with students and help each one of them to grow individually.”

Q: What does it mean to you to receive the title of National Merit
Semi-Finalist?
A: “It’s a big deal to me because of how difficult it is to achieve. I am glad to be a part of a large group of Mount Michael alumni who have also received the award in previous years.”

Q: How has your athletic career impacted your leadership role in the class and on the field?
A: “I have been thrown into leadership positions, especially in football. It makes me act as a role model for my teammates and allows me to find ways to positively impact others.”

Q: What does it take to be a leader?
A: “As a leader, I have to hold others accountable and make them sacrifice for the betterment of the whole team, even when they do not like that and may not like me for doing so. On top of that, a leader has to be someone that is always positive and encouraging, even when things aren’t perfect.”

Q: Do you feel like you are prepared for college based on your
academic and athletic career at Mount Michael? Why?
A: “I think I have been well prepared for college because I have found ways to manage my time, respond to adversity, and create connections with others.”

RYAN QUINLAN
SPORTS: Cross country, soccer
Favorite Subject: Academic Decathlon
Future Aspirations: Family PractitionerQ: How do you balance school and a personal life?
A: “Balancing school life and personal life is fairly easy for me because I board. During the week it is almost seamless because I can go from schoolwork to doing stuff with friends in seconds. Weekends are a little harder but I usually use them to decompress from the school week and spend time with friends outside of school. The most helpful thing for me is having a routine. If I know when I’m going to get my homework done I’m less likely to stress about it.”

Q: Looking back on your academic career, what are your biggest
takeaways?
A: “Looking back on my academic career, and more specifically on my time at Mount Michael, I have three major takeaways. First, when you are in class, be present and engaged in that class. A majority of your understanding comes from the forty three minutes you are in the classroom. You cannot waste them. Second is to not compare yourself academically to other students. Using academics, sports, or any other metric does not determine your value as a person. Mount Michael can oftentimes feel like a very competitive environment and it’s important to step back from that and appreciate what you have accomplished, regardless of what others have done. This works reversely as well. Your accomplishments should never be used as a way to make others feel worse about themselves. The third takeaway I have is pretty basic and it’s something that Mr. Gathje told us freshman year: Do your homework. Just do it. It might suck sometimes but it will be beneficial and if nothing else teaches you how to sit down and focus on a task you might not find particularly interesting. It’s not about solving the three variable system of equations, it’s about learning to apply problem solving skills and persevering through what might not be your favorite thing to do.”

Q: How are you feeling, knowing that your career at Mount Michael is almost over?
A: “I am extremely grateful for all that Mount Michael has done for me, both academically and as a person. The standards and practices that are set here will hopefully be with me for the rest of my life. I plan to enjoy my senior year to the fullest and try to give underclassmen the same experience I had that made me love and respect this school.”