Q&A: Chemistry Class Leads to Sentell's Love of Science

National Merit Finalists share thoughts about their high school experience.


Editor's Note: Lake Forest High School seniors graduate today on the Front Lawn. This is the last in a series of eight Q&A articles featuring seniors from the Class of 2012. Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch has asked the senior class' National Merit Finalists to answer some traditional and not-so traditional questions about their high school experience.

Read the previous profiles: , ,


Name: Katherine Sentell

Year in School: Senior

Attending college next fall? Where? Why did you pick that school? If not college, what are your plans?

 Next fall I will be attending Vanderbilt University, which I am very excited about! I felt a great connection with the students when I first stepped foot on campus. I’m looking forward to joining lots of clubs and intramurals next year, and I really like how Vanderbilt places a big emphasis on student involvement in addition to academic success. 

What was your favorite class in high school, and why?

 My favorite class in high school was definitely chemistry. I really like performing experiments and searching for the right answer. Chemistry is such an important part of our everyday lives, and it was interesting to learn about its practical applications. My chemistry class is what made me realize that I want to study science in college.

What was your leasrt favorite class in high school, and why?

I really don’t have a least favorite class. While I definitely enjoyed some subjects more than others, each class offered a new challenge to overcome. There are always going to be some classes that are interesting and some that aren’t, and it is important to know how to deal with both types.

What class do you wish you had been able to take, and why?

I wish I had been able to take Outdoor Education. I love the outdoors, and that class would have taught me lots of interesting new skills. Plus, a lot of my friends have gone on the Outdoor Education trips and have absolutely loved them. Unfortunately, it never worked out with my schedule.

Did you participate in extracurricular activities? Which one or ones?

I’ve participated in lots of extracurricular activities during high school. I played on both the soccer and golf teams and was also an active member of the Environmental Club. For the past year, I have also had a great experience working at a local clothing store, Francesca’s Collections. While my schedule definitely is busy, I really love everything that I’m doing so it makes the time spent worthwhile.

Is there an extracurricular activity you wish you had been able to try? Why?

I did not decide to join the golf team until my junior year in high school, and I wish that I had tried out earlier. I made great friends on the team and would have loved to have played and improved all four years. Joining a team is a great way to make lots of new friends, and it would have been great to have made those friends earlier.

Are your study habits the same as they were four years ago? If no, what has changed? If yes, describe your study habits?

My study habits have stayed very consistent over the past four years. My main study habit is to not procrastinate. I don’t like to have assignments hanging over my head, so I always make an effort to work ahead. By staying focused on my work during the week and getting things done ahead of time, I’m able to use the weekends to relax more.

What advice would you pass on to incoming freshmen at LFHS?

I would advise incoming freshmen to really take advantage of all the opportunities available at the high school. The most important thing to do freshman year is to find things you enjoy - sports, clubs, art, theater, or whatever makes you happy. By doing things you love, you will meet great new friends and really enjoy what you are doing. Getting involved early on in high school is a great way to feel connected to the school.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

At this point, I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with my future. The opportunities are endless, and who knows where my experiences in college will lead me. However, one thing I do know is that in 10 years I hope to be living in a foreign country. I have always dreamed about traveling the world and learning about different cultures, and that’s one dream I know I will fulfill.


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