Just in case you were wondering why Valedictorian Victoria Lin was so pale in her senior yearbook photo, the 17-year-old Morris Township resident wants to clear the air.
"I spent three months inside reading and studying," said the forthcoming Princeton University student, who earned a 4.7 Grade Point Average during high school. "It feels great seeing friends again."
All that hard work has paid off, as the first generation Taiwanese-American begins her collegiate career in just a couple months at one of the most prestigious universities in the nation.
But, the end of one of the largest chapters in her young life is kind of bittersweet, Victoria said.
"Over the four years, I think I grew a lot," she said. "I'm pretty socially awkward, so my summers at John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Camp really helped.
"I know that sounds really pretentious," Victoria said. "But, we're just a bunch of nerds that like to sit around and discuss nerdy things. We can be awkward together. That really helped me to grow."
At graduation, set for , Victoria will speak to her peers about the truth in fiction. "And, to make things interesting, I included some fiction in the truth by hiding literature references throughout the speech," she said. "I'm hoping my peers will catch some."
Despite her elevated vocabulary, elevated GPA and future at an elevated university (where she expects to major either in engineering or economics), Victoria is still a kid who still enjoys doing kid things, like hanging out with friends, seeing concerts, theater in New York City and just enjoying the start of summer. Before heading to college, Victoria will conduct humanitarian work in Thailand, then visit relatives in Taiwan.
Still, all of it, the academic accolades, the attention and certainly the end of an era, all have a certain kind of unreality to them, she said.
"I know all our paths will scatter from here, but it's nice to share four years together at least before we all leave," Victoria said. "A lot of my successes are owed to peers and family. And, I've had a lot of great memories and experiences [at Morristown High School]. Time for the next chapter."