June 01, 2011 - After taking the PSATs in his junior year and scoring in the 99th percentile, Michael Wang knew he was a semi-finalist for a National Merit Scholarship.
He applied during his senior year at Clarkston High School, and two months later learned he was a finalist.
Wang is attending University of Michigan in the fall. He also applied to Notre Dame and Cordell in Chicago, but admitted Michigan was his top school.
"I was going to go there unless I got some crazy amount of scholarships for someplace else in the United States," he said.
He will major in computer science and perhaps business as well.
"I want to do something with computer programming linked with finance," Wang said.
During his senior year, he maintained a 3.5 GPA, was a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in cross country.
"I like running," he said. "It's a good stress reliever. I feel good when I go out there and go a few miles."
Wang came to Clarkston during his sophomore year. His previous school was a patriotic school in Shanghai, China.
"It is a lot bigger here," he said about the differences. "My old school had 100 students in my grade and here, 600. Clarkston has bigger enthusiasm on sports. When I joined the cross country team, it was more intense and harder to stand out."
He added being in Clarkston was less stressful, something he didn't notice until he visited Shanghai.
"Being in Shanghai never caused me direct stress but being surrounded by the hustle and bustle, the car noise, I came to Clarkston and somehow it made me calm.Just the silence was really gratifying," he said.
His advice to high schoolers, especially incoming freshman, is to focus early on their future.
"I say it is never too early to think about college and how to prepare yourself, create a profile and get into the college you want to," he said. "I didn't join extracurriculars, know how to schedule my classes or just focus in general for when applying to colleges. I didn't really consider colleges or what I was going to do until I applied. By that time,
it was too late to get into extracurriculars to say I joined this club and was really com