20 Questions for Top of the 2020 Class: Daniel Shim plans to pursue engineering at UCLA

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Senior Daniel Shim is one of the 12 valedictions in the Class of 2020. Image posted with permission from Daniel Shim. 

Charis Lee

In lieu of our senior print issue, The Accolade has decided to conduct a Q and A with each of the 12 valedictorians for online posting.

Question #1: What are your plans after high school?

Answer: UCLA engineering is my future education plan for now.

Question #2: Which extracurriculars and clubs have you been a part of? 

A: Skills USA and Math Club, [and] also a tiny bit of Chess Club and Science Olympiad.

Question #3: How do you feel as one of the 12 valedictorians?

A: Personally, I do not feel proud of being a valedictorian, but I’m not ashamed either. It’s good news, I guess, but what do I do with this information? Nobody except my dad seems to care. The news is welcome, but I would still have lived happily even without the knowledge that I am a valedictorian.

Question #4: How do you feel about the second semester of our senior year and graduation being canceled?

A: Eh. Cry about it, but I’m not crying with ya.

Question #5: What or who motivated you the most during high school and why?

A: I guess it’s my mother if I had to be real. When she’s not there with me all the time, I [start] to miss her. Eventually I stopped whining and told myself that the last thing I want to do is make her sad, especially when she’s hoping for my happiness. Just not right to disrespect her like that.

Question #6: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A: At the bottom of a ditch. Really, I don’t know what can happen to me. That aside, hopefully, I’m mired in reasonable amounts of student debt, and I can pay it off if I even can.

Question #7: What was the most challenging in the four years of high school?

A: Dealing with the fact that I hate parts of myself, especially my lame personality.

Question#8: Which class was the most threatening to your valedictorian status?

A: APUSH—what an ordeal it was on my happiness.

Question #9: What has been the highlight of high school?

A: One highlight of high school was my brief stint with Sunny Hills Aquatics. It’s a highlight for me because I don’t think I’ll ever get into team sports again in college. Those two years were probably the few times I directly participated in representing a school and team activities (even the most unbearable training days, I have to admit, are things I may not experience again).

Question #10: Describe your high school experience in three words

A: Not enough time.

Question #11: Complete the sentence: I will always remember…

A: I will always remember Mr. Peoples, that crazy son of a gun.

Question #12: What was your favorite class?

A: Physics, favorite class. Why? We see physics happening in the classroom, and labs actually produce results I can use for studying.

Question #13: What will you miss most after you graduate?

A: I don’t know what I’ll miss. I haven’t been out of high school long enough to know. But when I know, I’ll know.

Question #14: Did you have senioritis?

A: Yes, distance learning killed my daily motivation.

Question #15: What is your greatest achievement during high school?

A: I don’t know, I liked it when I qualified for the AIME [American Invitational Mathematics Examination] a lot, but no one knows what that is. It’s a math test.

Question #16: How have you changed since freshman year?

A: I whine a lot less and understand the value of silent strength rather than showboaty cockiness.

Question #17: Out of all your years in high school, which one was your favorite and why?

A: Third year because I had the most going on around this time in terms of both academics and my personal life.

Question #18: A senior quote 

A: Guys all my life have been telling me “dance monkey,” and I hate dancing. 

Question #19: A word of advice for underclassmen

A: Taking AP classes is fine and all, but actually look up all your choice universities to see which tests are useful and which are just repetitive and/or obsolete. For instance, to my knowledge most UCs don’t need both AP Lit and Lang scores, just one. Why waste the time and money?

Question #20: Would you like to thank anyone? Final words?

A: See ya.