He doesn’t spend countless hours on it for the teachers. He doesn’t sacrifice his social life for the grades. He does it for himself. He keeps doing it until his standards are met, no one else’s.
With blond hair, blue eyes, and, occasionally, glasses, Paul Glasgow knows you have to work hard to succeed in school. As one of MTHS’s top-ranked students, he leads the 2011 senior class in this final chapter of their high school career.
Glasgow reflects on what made him the successful student he is today: hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
“I’ve always been weird in the sense that if I know I haven’t done as well as I could have, it really nags at me. I don’t try and meet the requirements that my teachers give me. I have to meet the requirements that I set for myself which tend to be above and beyond,” Glasgow said.
Above and beyond he goes. Instead of writing the required minimum three-page essay for the AP English summer homework, Glasgow wrote until he felt that the essay was satisfactory to his standards.
One if his favorite teachers, Dino Aristides, says that Glasgow’s “strength as a student is his remarkable focus. Paul could sit there in the middle of a classroom food fight and write-listen and learn. Paul is truly like a shining shaft of gold in a bleak dark night.”
Knowing that the key to success is not only doing your work, but also building a relationship with your teachers, Glasgow recommends that students should “make sure that your teachers know you. Get to know your teachers, it’s invaluable if they actually like you because they’re willing to help you so much more.”
Achieving a 4.0 GPA each year during high school is no small feat; it consumes countless hours of time that could be spent with friends. But balancing his academics and his social life hasn’t been too much of a struggle.
“He doggedly wants to achieve, which isn’t to say that he doesn’t relax. He still plays Xbox with his friends and watches movies. It’s all part of his personality,” says Glasgow’s stepfather, Jim Anderson.
Glasgow still enjoys hanging out with his friends, seeing movies, and playing guitar in his spare time, although, he says, “I’m just terrible at it.”
He is fully aware that getting great grades while being involved in multiple school activities is not an easy task.
“Thankfully I don’t have extracurricular activities to deal with,” Glasgow says, “I couldn’t imagine getting great grades while being on the track team and football team.”
Although he was known as the class clown in the past, he notes sarcastically that he “had a good rapport with [my] teachers so [he] could practically get away with murder.”
Since then, Glasgow has stopped goofing around, focusing instead on school work because, as he says, “you have to have your priorities straight; when you’re at high school your number one job is to learn; it’s not to screw around.”
Being a contextual person, as he describes himself, Glasgow learns best with a combination of textbooks and lectures. History, his favorite subject, fascinates him because he’ll “read about an event in history and then go back in [his] mind and see how it is able to come about.” Preferring to work alone, his natural leadership tends to create tension within group projects.
Describing high school in one word, Glasgow sarcastically chooses “hell.” He laughs and, after thinking for a moment, on a more serious note chooses the word “obstacle,” as in something you overcome.
“You know, day by day, each essay, each project, each thing like that is just another obstacle you have to overcome to get to that light at the end of the tunnel,” he says.
His advice for freshmen, aside from the typical response of “do your homework” or “don’t procrastinate,” is to “do everything that’s assigned, and don’t meet their requirements, make sure you meet your requirements. Make sure you like the work you’re doing.”
As for his college career, Glasgow is applying to many colleges, his top two being the University of Portland and Gonzaga University. According to Glasgow, his mom wants him to apply to Princeton, which he is not looking forward to because there are multiple essays that have to be written along with the common application.
“It’s just going to be atrocious,” he says. “I do not want to do it at all.”
His parents are still proud of him, though. Anderson says, “His GPA is only one small reflection of his intelligence; humor is another.”
As one of the most accomplished students of the Class of 2011, Glasgow stresses that he is just a normal guy who happens to do extremely well, academically speaking. Success in high school, Glasgow emphasizes, comes from wanting to succeed, wanting to do well, wanting to achieve.
“We’re all here for a reason, and for that reason we’re all in the same boat, so let us cast off together, and with our joined strength boldly cross the terrifying waters of the unknown to reach the shores of a brave new world,” he says.