Featured Falcon: Iris Ung

Senior Iris Ung tells all about how she manages to be valedictorian while still being involved in clubs.


Kenedy May, Writer

4 years, 16 AP classes, and many long, stressful nights later, senior Iris Ung has finally secured her place at the top of her class for now. This has been her goal since kindergarten and even more so since her aunt, who Ung says is her inspiration, was valedictorian. However, contrary to many people’s beliefs Ung doesn’t stress too much about the title.

“Honestly, I don’t feel too much pressure [to be] valedictorian,” Ung said. “I mean my parents don’t pressure me at all. They don’t even ask about my grades. I just kind of do my own thing. I don’t get any outside pressure like that and if you keep track of everything and prioritize and organize then it won’t be too anxious.”

The road to achieving this goal hasn’t always been easy, but Ung stays organized in a planner which helps to keep her from becoming too overwhelmed by the intensity of her AP classes. In her planner, Ung writes all her due dates, assignments, and extracurriculars. This helps her to prioritize the assignments that are due soon.  However, she leaves her weekends free, so she can have time to spend with her friends and family. It may seem impossible for her to balance all of this without stressing out, but Ung doesn’t deny that she procrastinates.

“Of course, I push things off until the night before,” Ung said. “That’s just because I have so many things due everyday that its really hard to plan things out. Also, its important for me to get that mental break because I’m not working 24/7! I need time to myself and to relax. So yes, there have been times where I don’t do things until the night before and its honestly because teachers give like four things due on the same day.”

Throughout her high school experience, Ung has heard many things said about her such as, ‘She’s a try hard,’ which Ung doesn’t deny, however she wants people to know that she doesn’t do it to be annoying, she does it to do well in life and to succeed. This is not the only misconception that Ung wishes to debunk.

“Another thing is that I am a very outgoing person,” Ung said. “I love talking to people. I am not this weird closed in person. Its kind of like a stigma the media places on smart people.”

While being valedictorian is an amazing payoff for all of Ung’s hard work over the years, her one passion that really helped her motivate herself even on the bad days is getting into her dream college. Her goal college is Stanford, but she has also applied to Princeton and Vanderbilt. These big dreams have quickly become a reality for Ung, but not without the help of some of her favorite teachers at Foster.

“There are so many faculty members in Foster that have taught me so many life lessons,” Ung said. “So, for example, Mr. Willeby and Mr. Frenzel are my top two mentors in this school because they have been there for me in everything, whether its academics or competitions. They mainly taught me to not stress about the little things and to focus on what you’re passionate about.”