You may know Ellen Dong, a 10th grade straight A student, who is impressively on top of her work. She is dedicated, persistent, and is a role model for her peers. As Andrea Brown, her biology teacher from last year said, “Ellen is meticulously thorough and organized. She never does anything halfway.” 

Coronavirus has significantly affected Dong. She thrives in a classroom setting. Her motivation was cut with the current online school. For many students at MHS, this has meant a huge drop in their grades. 

She said with online school in her home, “It’s tempting to just turn my audio and camera off and just zone out.” Work is different due to online school. Everyone, including the 4.0 students, are struggling in adjusting to the changes in the environment. It’s nothing to feel stressed about, teachers and students alike are struggling. “It just goes right over me.” She said, pertaining to the new versions of lessons and learning.

Stress is a hard feeling to manage. Dong said “One thing I do when I’m really going through it is to just solely think of the present. Like I think ‘Right NOW, there is nothing to be stressed about. Right at this moment, nothing bad is happening to me.’” She also said that meditation and scribbling helps.

Dong stays on top of her work by using Google Keep and Notion. Google Keep she uses to write all of her assignment’s due dates, and Notion she uses to mark when she is busy on the calendar. “It’s also incredibly important to actually understand what is expected of you and what you’re doing,”she said. Paying attention in class, and asking questions when necessary are key. She said “I’d say it’s important to prioritize what tasks you need to do first.” Whether by due date or how large the project is, keep note of what must be completed first.

Dong spends an impressive 5+ hours at her desk for homework, including lots of breaks. “I think it’s important to take a lot of breaks.” Taking a break when necessary can really improve your work. Instead of cramming everything into 2 hours, spend a couple days on the task and break it down into pieces. 

“I think that others can take advantage of their intelligence by taking every opportunity they can get their hands on and trying a whole bunch of different things,” Dong said. Everyone has a different skill set, and you’ll never figure out your own if you don’t try. As Ellen said, “You don’t know how far you could go in something unless you try it wholeheartedly.” She said that“If you have a talent, the best way to take advantage of it is to USE it.” Whether it’s cooking or history, your talent is valuable and can push you towards your goals.

Dong said “One big motivator of mine is thinking about the future I want for myself, the big shiny dream.” Even if the goal changes, she keeps this as her focus. Her parents worked hard to get what they have, and she wants to continue the legacy and show them it was all well worth the fight. “I’ll be damned if they put in all that hard work for their kid to be fooling around in school. I will not have it.”

“To be honest, the 24 hour lofi study beats girl on Youtube is what gets me through my work,” she said.