Student of the Week: Ashley Smith

Over+the+course+of+the+four+years+Ashley+Smith+has+been+at+La+Salle%2C+she+has+taken+12+AP+classes.
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Student of the Week: Ashley Smith

Over the course of the four years Ashley Smith has been at La Salle, she has taken 12 AP classes.

Over the course of the four years Ashley Smith has been at La Salle, she has taken 12 AP classes.

Reilly Smith

Over the course of the four years Ashley Smith has been at La Salle, she has taken 12 AP classes.

Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith

Over the course of the four years Ashley Smith has been at La Salle, she has taken 12 AP classes.

Mia Kritzer, Staff Reporter

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Senior Ashley Smith is taking her victory lap. Last year, Smith finished second in state for track, and she is currently maintaining a 4.42 GPA and competing in volleyball and tennis. 

Over her four years at La Salle, Smith has taken 12 AP classes. She is currently taking AP Chemistry, AP physics, AP Spanish, and AP US Government. Smith said that her drive to do well in school has been a key factor in her academic success. “I think my biggest strength is my dedication and that applies not only to my studies, but also it’s present in my relationships,” Smith said. 

Before La Salle, Smith attended Christ the King parish school from elementary school through 8th grade. She said that her academic shift occurred around the sixth grade. “I really started to care [about school and personal goals] and tell myself I’m going to put in the work to make it happen,” she said.

Hard work paid off for Smith, as she was recently accepted by Cornell University. She said that her first reaction was pure excitement. “I really wanted to get somewhere that would push me academically and athletically,” Smith said. She plans on majoring in engineering. 

She said her inspiration to succeed in school is to make her family proud. “I feel a lot of pride,” she said. “I’m very happy that I was able to take the educational opportunities that my parents have given me. They’ve always been the reason I’ve been motivated to do so well.”

Advice Smith would give students who are worried about taking the SAT is that “you have to relax and [just] do your best,” she said. “I went into it prepared and relaxed, [and] I got a really good score.” When taking tests in general, Smith reminds herself “I can get through this,” she said. “I know my teachers have prepared me, so I have to trust in that.”

One obstacle Smith had to grapple with is time management. “The biggest thing is managing all my classes while doing sports,” she said. “Last year during AP week for instance I had districts, and AP tests all at the same time. It was really stressful.” An average school night for her consists of 3-4 hours of homework.

Smith deals with this obstacle by making time for self care. She said self care plays a big role in managing her busy schedule. “High school taught me to take care of myself,” she said. 

When she feels stressed, Smith likes to stay active as well as relaxing. She does this by playing with her dog, listening to music, or just doing a face mask.

Smith mentioned a key factor in staying organized are her backpack essentials. “I definitely need to have chapstick,” she said. “I recommend a portable charger, earbuds, and obviously my Hydro[flask],” Smith said. 

One of her biggest goals, beyond becoming an engineer, is to travel.“I really love appreciating other cultures,” she said. “My uncle was an engineer and he would travel around to do engineering jobs.”

When asked about her overall high school experience, Smith explained the changes she underwent. “I’ve become more social and I’ve developed a different sense of humor,” Smith said. She highly recommends going on the junior year journey retreat. Smith ended up becoming closer to people that she wasn’t necessarily expecting to become close with. “It’s a really great experience,” she said. 

Smith suggests that underclassmen should be open to change. “I think my greatest advice… is [that] you think you know yourself but you don’t,” she said. “You still have so much more maturing to do. It’s crazy to me how much I’ve changed in the last four years.”