HUMANS OF BELLAIRE – Aisling Hu, Salutatorian
“Overall, high school was pretty good. We had a lot of ups and downs with freshman year going into COVID, coming back to a new building and changing principals. I didn’t do anything crazy. I just went to classes and had fun with my friends.
I always enjoyed BISA. Kpop Club would prepare for that for three months. Being able to help lead that group in my junior and senior years was really nice. This year was definitely the biggest group we’ve done. We had 23 people. Because there were so many people, it was more stressful because we were trying to get everybody organized, but it was a lot of fun. We had a successful performance. It was really nice to connect with some of the underclassmen.
I think I’m overall pretty passive about [graduating]. It’s scary, of course. But at the same time, it’s exciting to be able to go out and try to make my own way in life.
I’m going to SMU (Southern Methodist University) for mechanical engineering with a biomedical specialization. After SMU, hopefully I’ll be able to go to medical school and then do residency and become a neonatologist. My uncle is a doctor, and it just always seemed really cool that you could save someone’s life. Even just by researching medical stuff, you can help so many people all over the world, which is just crazy to me. Surgeries that are so small can really turn a person’s life around. I think that’s really interesting.
I don’t want to say it was expected of me [to be salutatorian], but I always just expected myself to get As and take challenging classes. I wasn’t taking everything thinking, ‘I have to become top of the top.’ I was interested in all the classes, and I do think there is merit to taking Pre-AP and AP classes. It was the natural thing for me to do. I also really liked all my teachers throughout the years so that helped a lot. Aiming to have As is not because I want to be the best of the best, but just because I want to be able to maintain that high standard for myself.
I do think when we were in elementary school, we were so much more innocent. We didn’t really think about all these stressful things like college and having to do taxes, figuring out your finances and getting jobs. It was so easy to just be a kid. You could go out and play on the playground. There was even naptime. I think I miss having my innocence and that time when I was able to do whatever and not have to worry about my life.
My parents definitely impacted me a lot. It goes deeper than just their morals and their values. Growing up in Houston, having them make the choice to stay here, really shaped me as a person. I think Houston is the reason I want to stay in a big city for college. The reason why I’m such a big food lover is because of all the amazing food in Houston.
I love food. I can’t actually eat that much, but I think food is so interesting because it can introduce you to so many different cultures. Everybody eats food. Everybody needs to survive. It’s great that you can make food for enjoyment. It’s so cool to try making different recipes from different places, because things that you might think are so different might be very similar [to what you eat] when you make it.
I don’t think others are all going to remember me forever. Especially because in four years, I’m not going to have known anybody at the school except for the teachers. I just hope that I made a positive impact on some people’s lives.
Nothing’s just going to go away because you think it’s hard. You have to just keep on doing it and keep on pushing. Remember that there are always people around you who can help you when it’s hard. Our culture puts so much emphasis on making your way in the world and that everything comes through hard work, but you also have people around you that you can rely on. If you’re not opening up to your friends when things are hard, then what are your friends for? People are there to support you, and it comes in turn. You should support them when they’re having hard times. Always remember that there are people there.”