Connetquot HS valedictorian, Mit Patel: Ready to take on the Ivy
BOHEMIA—After 13 years in the same school district, Connetquot’s valedictorian Mit Patel is ready, willing and very able to take on his next adventure: Harvard University.
“I didn’t think I’d get into [Harvard], but when I did, it was exciting,” Patel said.
In fact, Patel wasn’t even sure he’d get the top spot at graduation. “It was a surprise,” he said about hearing the news this spring. “I wasn’t expecting it and wasn’t set on it, so when I heard it, I was so happy.”
Patel has balanced his academics with school clubs and activities. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Model UN, Interact Club and Habitat for Humanity. He was integral to creating the school’s Science Olympiad team. And for the past two years, he’s been doing independent science research. Last summer, he had an internship at Stony Brook University working on model organisms. He explained, “We looked at different organisms – like worms – to see how they can relate to humans.”
At Harvard, Patel plans on majoring in biochemistry. Although he is still undecided, he expects to eventually go into medical research or perhaps become a doctor. Either way, he said the Cambridge-based school would provide the right education to follow his dreams.
“Harvard is one of the greatest universities of all time,” he said. “The people that go there come from very diverse backgrounds, and to be able to study alongside them will be amazing.”
Although he is ready to hit the books again this fall, he also plans on taking part in a number of other activities while there. Patel hopes to join one of the many science research clubs as well as political clubs that are on campus.
“I’m big into politics,” he said. “Especially in the [political climate] we’re in now. It’s important to have meaningful dialogue.”
Patel said graduating is bittersweet. “I’ll miss my friends and family,” he said. “My mom is someone I look up to; she taught me a lot,” noting that seeing what she’s accomplished has given him a good example of what comes from hard work.
Still, there are some things he will not miss about high school. “I’m not going to miss the [cafeteria] food,” he said with conviction. “I guarantee the food [at Harvard] is going to be a lot better than the high school food.”
This summer, Patel hopes to “explore beyond Bohemia” and have a good time hanging out with friends and watching movies, his favorite pastime. His favorite movie is “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” He said, “I love the symmetry and colors [of that movie].”
When he takes the podium at graduation, Patel said he has an idea for his speech that will encourage his classmates to learn beyond the norm.
“Learn from everything around you. If we just focus on textbooks, we will miss out,” he said.
“Listen… and hear what others have to say and compare that to your views. Share ideas and learn from one another.”
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