Looking into the lives of 4.0 seniors


Faith Pauken

Posing on the patio, the valedictorians for the Class of 2018 are: back row, from left, Natalie Swope, Jack Wright, Grace Hardy, Tessa Cannon, Kate Weeks, Clara Schwab, Emilie Kono, Ethan Salinsky; front row, from left, Claire Winthrop, Allie Eroh, Kattie Abrams, Piper Kizziar, and Kaela Lee. Not pictured are Libby Lazzara, Ella Berry, and Anna Beller.

As the 2018 school year comes to a close, Lincoln will be sending off 16 students who have earned the title of valedictorian. Despite all valedictorians completing their high school tenure with a 4.0 unweighted grade point average, the methods and lifestyles behind the success varied drastically. The Cardinal Times surveyed 13 of the 16 valedictorians to dig deeper into the lives of these students.

Upon analysis of the survey, we discovered some shocking, humourous and incredible responses.

Perhaps the most staggering discovery was a response that showed one of the valedictorians spent over 25 hours per week on clubs or other programs (not including sports). All 4.0 earning students are impressive, but this particular student is the epitome of successful time management.

Some of the more humorous responses came after asking the valedictorians about what enabled them to get through all four years with a 4.0. One lucky student claims that their “mom’s chocolate milkshakes at midnight” was the motivator to hold the pressures. Another student wrote that theasaurus.com was the sole reason they kept a 4.0. Perhaps a more relatable student gave a very honest answer to all high school students, the sacrifice of sleep. With the sacrifice of sleep, the body begins to function poorly, which is most likely why one student said “coffee, a high stress tolerance and fun weekends” pushed them through.

Of course, we couldn’t let the valedictorians leave without asking them to give us one word to describe Lincoln. Upon a group consensus, the most applicable were these three: rigorous, competitive and passionate.