In the week leading up to Arlington ISD graduations June 3 and 4 at AT&T Stadium, we are celebrating the Class of 2021 valedictorian and salutatorian for all seven Arlington ISD high schools.
Name: Princess Vargas, Valedictorian
School: Arlington Collegiate High School
College attending: Texas Tech University
Intended major: Physics/Astronomy
Attended Arlington ISD schools since: 1st grade
What advice would you give students entering high school?
Make sure to always go to your teachers when you don’t understand a concept. Do not just sit there in the dark, because it will only get worse. Get involved in school and build good study habits, too!
What was the most difficult lesson you’ve learned while in school?
Learning how to study properly was the most difficult lesson I’ve learned. I never took school seriously until I was in high school, so it was my first time actually studying for a test. I had no idea how to study properly because it’s not often taught in schools. It took a while to learn, but I looked at many videos on YouTube and found the method that worked best for me.
What’s the most meaningful moment you will take from this school year?
The most meaningful moment from this school year was getting accepted into college. I always had a fear I would not be able to go to college, because I felt like I wasn’t smart enough, and my parents struggle a lot with money. My mother told me I wouldn’t be able to go to college because we couldn’t afford it. Not only did I get accepted into a good college, but I don’t have to worry about paying for it, and that meant a lot to me.
What makes you the proudest about experiencing your senior year in COVID-19?
I finally decided to focus on myself. Ever since freshman year, my only goal was to get good grades, and that took up much of my time. When someone asked me about hobbies, all I could say is I like cleaning and video games, because that’s all I ever did other than school. Because of COVID-19, I got to step back and take time to do things I have never thought of doing before. I went from not being able to run a mile to running six miles, and I am very proud of myself!
What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
Ten years from now I am hoping to have a Ph.D. in astronomy and working as a professor at a university. I really love the thought of being a mentor to other students while teaching something I am passionate about. I also would love to do my own kind of research in the future and even write dissertations.