Senior Insiya Aziz didn’t know what to expect when she checked her sophomore class rank for the first time. She certainly wasn’t expecting to see that she was not only in the top ten percent, but stood at a prestigious level of number one in her class.
Two years have passed since then and she is still number one in her class. With Aziz’s senior year in Dripping Springs High School coming to an end, she will soon be announced the valedictorian of her class and will give her fellow peers a graduation speech to finish off their final year.
This was not an easy feat to accomplish with the constant competition between peers, but Aziz wasn’t aiming to be number one. For her, her classes weren’t anything of a task but something more enjoyable and fun.
“I loved all the classes I was taking,” Aziz said. “I loved all the subjects I was taking, I loved biology in my freshman year, I loved all of those things so much that it didn’t seem like work.”
She claims the primary key in her success is that this passion for being in school and immersing herself in her classes allowed her to expand on the potential she had. Though it has been, no doubt, a growing process for Aziz.
“She’s done a way better job at prioritizing which has been really helpful in making everything go more efficiently,” Senior Gabrielle Chavez said. “And she’s definitely less stressed out than the previous years.”
Non-academically it can be said that Aziz has become more social and open to people than in her freshman year when she was the new kid. As for her prioritization skills, it comes with a certain process.
“I have a lot of spread sheets, charts, and prioritizing list. I list out the class or the extracurricular, what I have to do for it, and when it’s due,” she said. “Originally I would write it out on paper and highlight it in different color and prioritize like that, but now I have spread sheets that I use and I look at when it’s due and also see what kind of grade it is like whether it’s summative or formative.”
This organization came with time and learning how to prioritize and decide what assignments were more urgent than others both in and out of school. Aziz accredits that this work ethic came from the help of her english teacher, Yvonne Kaatz.
“Once you understand what she wants you to do and how to be successful, it gives you the tools to be successful in the rest of your classes and not just hers,” Aziz said. “Things from that class really carried on with me. Like how to be organized, making sure I was on top of my stuff, prioritizing things, and working towards finishing things.”
Aziz does have college plans despite not having decided on a specific university that she wants to attend, she has a general outline of the course of action that she needs to take to get where she wants to be in the future.
“I plan to major in international business and minor in political science,” Aziz said. “After that, I’ll be going to law school and then I’ll be working on an international level with NGOs or the UN.”
Aziz is proud of her status as number one in her class and is happy that she was able to lock into her full potential. She has admitted that she is terribly nervous about speaking in front of her class for graduation, but she hopes to deliver a speech worthy of showing how she has enjoyed every year in high school and how much she values all the relationships she has made.
Written by Kerry James