The student news site of Bellaire High School

Provided by Lucy Ma

HUMANS OF BELLAIRE – Lucy Ma, Valedictorian

“My high school experience was overall really fun. I got to experience a lot that I don’t think I expected to experience, especially with the COVID year and growing a lot as a person throughout high school, getting to meet new people and learning new things in my classes. I also discovered what I was really interested in, which helped when choosing a major for college.

Going into high school, I was really confused [and] lost because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. But compared to freshman year now, as a senior, I almost see my entire life planned out, which is really exciting. I have a lot that I want to accomplish. 

Provided by Lucy Ma

One of the biggest things I’d say changed over the past four years was my confidence and satisfaction with myself. I shouldn’t look down on myself if I mess up or don’t accomplish a certain goal. I’m also really secure with myself and don’t compare myself to other people. I went into high school a shy, a-little-bit insecure freshman, and now I’m a pretty confident, secure senior.

I’m super excited [to graduate]. I’m genuinely so excited for the future and taking on new challenges, especially since I’ll be in a new place alone because I’ve always been a little more independent. The idea of managing everything on my own is really appealing to me.

I’m in the Business Honors Program at UT Austin. Later on, I see myself working in a larger firm in finance and traveling a lot and working with different people from different places. I’ve always seen myself as a leader, but I never really knew what I wanted to do until I looked into some of the majors for colleges. Business ended up speaking to me because I would have a lot of freedom in it and more of a social career. Talking with people, negotiating, soft skills— I think I have that kind of experience.

One of my favorite experiences was yearbook. Throughout my three years of high school on the yearbook staff, I’ve made so many memories. I remember I would stay after school and hang out in the yearbook room finishing up pages. I got to bond a lot with my yearbook friends. This year as an editor-in-chief, I got to do that again but as a leader for the staffers. It was really exciting to [lead] this big staff that I could have these experiences with.

Provided by Lucy Ma

I’ve always been pretty motivated academically. The hardest part was not giving up. Freshman year, I talked to people and they didn’t really seem worried about their GPAs. Not having anyone that I could share [my] struggles with was the hardest part, and there were times where I was like, ‘What if I just get a B? Is it the end of the world? Does my GPA really matter that much?’ Ultimately, I pushed through, and I’m so glad I kept pushing because having a 5.0 really does help with college applications.

One of my biggest [influences] is my dad. From a young age, he told me how capable and smart I was. That really helped build my confidence and my drive because one, I didn’t want to let him down, but two, if he says that I’m capable of this and that he believes in me, then I must be capable of it. That shaped my mindset as a kid, and even now, I always think about how I have my dad’s support and faith in me. That was one of the main motivators for [becoming valedictorian]; going into high school, the idea of valedictorian seemed so far, but because my dad told me all those things as a kid, somehow it was within reach. 

Do what you want to do. Don’t feel pressured to conform or do what other people want you to do. You have to want to do something in order to do [it] well. Use high school to figure out what you want to do, and then act on it.”

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