The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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On Monday, June 10, the annual Underclassmen Awards ceremony took place inside of WHSs auditorium.

I think that these awards bring motivation to [WHS] students to preform well academically, Sophomore Rufat Hasanov said.
WHS hosts the annual Underclassman Awards ceremony
June 15, 2024
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Missy Prince: Incoming freshman at Harvard University

Credit: Courtesy of Missy Prince
Join WSPN staff reporter Maddie Zajac as she talks with senior Missy Prince and how her high school career led to Harvard University. “As soon as I knew what college was, [Harvard] was my goal,” Prince said.

With an acceptance rate of 3.2% and a reputation of being one of the top schools in the United States, Harvard University is a highly selective school, accepting very few, if any, Wayland High School seniors each year. While some could never imagine getting accepted to Harvard, for senior Missy Prince, Harvard has been on her mind since she was little. So, when she opened her Harvard acceptance letter, it felt surreal.

From a young age, Prince had always prioritized her schoolwork. Even while playing soccer and tennis, being class secretary and running clubs such as Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the Student Advocacy Committee, Prince has managed to excel academically. Prince is also a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and Chinese National Honor Society. Prince accomplished her goals by tuning into her self-drive and appreciation for learning.

“My parents weren’t necessarily the ones to constantly be checking my grades or asking if I had tests or things like that, it kind of was just me,” Prince said. “I’ve found that as long as I’m doing things I care about and find fun, I don’t mind being busy.”

Along with her grades and extracurricular involvement, Prince worked hard to express a more valuable aspect of her life on her college application. Prince strived to showcase her strengths through her expression of identity and gratitude for the things that set her apart. From the sports she plays and her love for science, to her family and friends, Prince was determined to show all her values on her application.

“I [wanted to] create a whole picture of the person that I am, so that anyone reading my application would know that it’s mine and that I put myself into it,” Prince said.

Although Prince’s application earned her admission to Harvard, she still found herself struggling to maintain her confidence. This feeling only deepened when Prince was primarily deferred from Harvard until late March, and she was left uncertain about the outcome of her impending Harvard decision.

“I’m someone who [takes] a lot of pride in the work that I do and the person that I am on an application, so worrying if that was good enough was really hard,” Prince said.

Prince always had Harvard in the back of her mind and used this goal as motivation to constantly push herself in school. Prince aspired to go to Harvard, and her interest grew after her brother attended Harvard. After visiting her brother so often, she not only gained an appreciation for the academic aspect of Harvard, but also the school’s community and surrounding location.

“It kind of felt like this is where I’m meant to be,” Prince said. “I think Boston and Cambridge feel like my home, and from what I can see, everyone there is so excited about what they’re doing that you can’t help but want to be part of that.”

Now that Prince is committed, she is excited to attend Harvard next year. Academically and socially, Prince sees numerous benefits of attending such a prestigious institution.

“When it comes to academics, I’m really excited to meet and be around the professors there, because they are often the most talented people in their fields and have accomplished crazy things,” Prince said. “To learn from those kinds of people is really cool. There’s [also] something special about being around other students there [because] there are so many people who care so much about what they’re doing, so the opportunities that that brings are priceless.”

Although Prince has enjoyed her time at WHS, she finds that the tension in Wayland surrounding college can be more intense than other towns.

“In Wayland, [college decisions] mean a lot more pressure and a lot more people looking at you and thinking, ‘oh my gosh, where is this person gonna go?’” Prince said. “But, once you get out of Wayland, it really doesn’t matter. We’re in a bubble here where there’s a very elitist attitude about college, but I think that’ll go away once you actually get to college.”

Looking back on her entire academic career, Prince has learned that one of the most important life lessons is finding a balance between things you have to do and things you want to do. She realizes that this balance makes a significant difference in your stability and capability as a human being. Prince understands the importance of prioritizing herself and making time for things she enjoys.

“The best way to stay afloat when you’re taking hard classes or working really hard is to make sure you’re fighting for time [to spend doing] things that actually make you happy,” Prince said. “[Otherwise], you will burn yourself out and end up unhappy.”

In her four years of high school, Prince has had an impressive amount of success, while still prioritizing her time and happiness. She is excited for the future, but she emphasizes that college decisions do not define a person’s worth.

“So much of [the college application process] is luck, and so much of it is at the discretion of the admissions committee, so you can’t read into anything,” Prince said. “Any decision that you get doesn’t say anything about your value as a person. Do what makes you happy, not what you think colleges want you to do.”

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About the Contributor
Maddie Zajac
Maddie Zajac, Staff Reporter
Maddie Zajac, Class of 2026, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She plays on the Wayland junior varsity volleyball team during the fall. Outside of school she enjoys club volleyball, painting, baking and spending lots of time with her friends. Contact: [email protected]
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