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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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    HomeLifestyleGuam senior looking forward to attending Yale University | Lifestyle

    Guam senior looking forward to attending Yale University | Lifestyle

    There is no secret ingredient to college acceptances.

    “I feel that the biggest factor is being yourself and going after the passions that you discover throughout your education. I firmly believe that college applications are far from the most important thing you do in high school — your passions can change your life forever,” said Felix Gong, a senior at St. John’s School.

    Gong was accepted into many top universities, including several Ivy League universities: Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania.

    “I remember sitting at my desk on Ivy Day, so nervous to open all of the application portals on the desktop in front of me. When I was accepted into all of these schools, I was so overjoyed and honored, but a little part of me couldn’t believe what just happened.”

    He ultimately chose Yale but is still undecided on his major, but he is leaning toward either economics or engineering.

    “I want to discover new topics and experience new fields during my time at Yale University. Of all of the fabulous and gorgeous campuses I visited, Yale has a community where I felt that I could be the happiest! I met the nicest people and professors, and I think that having a network of constant support is one of the most important aspects of college.”

    Getting into elite schools is not an easy feat. It requires hours of deliberation and dedication to the application process.

    “The most challenging part is truly the essays. I racked my brain for months on end trying to communicate who I truly am to the college admissions officers while trying to not come off cliché. I overcame this by sacrificing my entire Christmas Break. I sat in front of my computer every day, including on my birthday, working on the many different essays each school requires.”

    Since it is such a difficult process, Gong offers this advice to rising seniors: Start working on the essays as soon as possible.

    “When people gave me this advice when I was in junior year, I shrugged it off, thinking that everyone was exaggerating. Turns out, they were not.”

    Not only is the college application process important, but a strong support system has also been critical to Gong’s successful high school career.

    “The one goal I always had was to do my best in everything that I did. Throughout high school, my family were truly my biggest cheerleaders. From the cutest mom in the universe and the most logic-driven dad to my smartest, most inspiring sister, I never felt pressure from any of them to do anything that I did not enjoy, only support.

    “From when I won the (National Merit) scholarship and advanced to the semi-finalist round in the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program to every little gig I played with the Guam Territorial Band, my family was always there to cheer me on and encourage me to do my very best.”

    Leaving St. John’s and Guam will be bittersweet, and Gong will miss the community that has shaped his growth as a student and individual.

    “From the incredible teachers at St. John’s School to my wonderful Guam Territorial Band and Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra families, these people will be truly missed.”

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