LINCOLNTON––Be true to yourself.
That’s the advice to the class of 2020 from Ryan Davin. Tied with his twin sister, Anne, for the fourth-place ranking in North Lincoln High School’s class of ’20 (see related coverage, also here in The Herald), Davin, a noted track stand-out, told us more about himself earlier this week.
“I admit she’s probably smarter than me!” he said, extolling his sister’s intellectual prowess.
Come August, both Davins will be off to the University of Florida.
“I am going to be a mechanical engineering major,” Ryan Davin revealed, “on the Benacquisto Scholarship, which is a full-ride academic scholarship sponsored by the State of Florida. Part of the reason why I chose to accept the scholarship and attend the University of Florida was because it offers me freedom to explore my academic interests while in college and to have the funds to pursue graduate school after. In 10 years, I hope to have a job as at an automotive or aeronautical company, designing and improving products or parts.”
Davin also took the opportunity to address North Lincoln’s incoming members of next year’s class.
“Class of 2021,” he said, “remember to be yourselves. High school is a place where you are exposed to a variety of pressures, whether socially or academically, and you may feel as if you need to conform to others to be seen as cool or to secure a spot in the top of the class. This is something that I definitely struggled with myself, and I often had to remind myself of the bigger picture. In 10 years, or maybe even as little as a year or two, your exact class rank or the number of events you attended are not going to be seen as huge parts of your life. Rather, the memories and experiences you have are going to be what sticks with you.
“This is not me telling you to abandon your goals or change your lifestyle,” he continued, “but simply me telling you to do what makes you happy. If being valedictorian is your goal, go for it! If you would rather have fun, do it! But if at any point, your pursuit of those things starts to get in the way of your life, maybe you should rethink your priorities. If you find yourself with too much work and you have the opportunity, don’t be afraid to change classes. I have. If you find your grades slipping to the point you might not be able to do what you want post-graduation, study more.”
An easy way for students to make the right choices is to surround themselves with friends who have similar aspirations, as Davin noted.
“If you are pursuing military service, reach out and find others who are as well, in order to ensure you are all doing what you need to in order to succeed,” he said. “If you are hoping to compete at the next level athletically, find people that you can train with to further your skills. If you are hoping to attend a high-level university, as I was, make friends with people who are as well, in order to help each other stay focused on school.
“I personally was extremely lucky to be born with a built-in best friend,” Davin added, citing his sister and all her help. “She helped motivate me throughout all of school. Without her, I doubt I would have had the same focus on school, and probably I would not have finished as high in the class. It was not only Anne who helped me, however. In every class I took in high school, I had friends who were passionate about the subject––and/or learning in general––that helped me do the best I could, and I hope I was able to help them as they helped me. I know this is fairly long advice. But it all boils down to the following: stay true to yourself, and you will turn out just fine. I promise.”