After looking at a list of qualities self-described by Katherine Rohe, one might think she would have a time hard in school let alone be a valedictorian.
“I don’t handle stress very well. I basically say ‘This is too much, I’m going to take a nap’,” Rohe said.
Also, Rohe has a hard time finding a place to study because every environment distracts her.
Beyond these traits, Rohe has a characteristic she views as a flaw, at least partially, but has been instrumental to her success.
“I unfortunately hold most of my self-worth in my academic achievements. Therefore, academic failure equates personal failure,” Rohe said.
Fortunately for Rohe, she has been academically successfully, including not just surviving, but excelling in four AP classes: Calculus AB, Chemistry, Language, and U.S. History, her junior year. While she earned an A in each class, she had to sacrifice the luxury of sleep, getting only three hours each night during a four month period.
Out of all her classes her junior year, AP Calculus AB was particularly challenging. Despite liking the subject and the teacher, Dr. Terri Tachon being her favorite teacher during high school, she struggled on the tests which would lead to additional pressure. To overcome the pressure she felt, she worked even harder, studying four to five hours for a single calculus test.
Rohe strived to do her homework even when she would rather be doing something else to cope with the stress. Although she struggled to complete it all, her perservence set her apart from her peers.
“The hardest part about high school is forcing yourself to do homework. We all want to be doing something else like sleeping or hanging out with friends, but you have to do it,” Rohe said.
While trying to balance academics and sleep, Rohe was also a member of Math Club, Mu Alpha Theta, French Club, French Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, National Honor Society, Art Club and Empowerment Club.
While Rohe does not handle stress well herself, she has developed methods to cope that have enabled her to remain academically prosperous. Rohe has used knitting to manage her stress, relieve anxiety and help fight depression. During times of increased stress, like exams, the amount of Rohe knitting multiplies including in class.
Ultimately, Rohe’s work and personal attachment to doing well in school earned her a Pegasus Gold scholarship at UCF. At UCF, she will major in mechanical engineering because she wants to help people live a sustainable modern lifestyle that is .
“People talk about saving the planet all the time but the only way for mass change to happen is if you give people a way to be green and not change a single thing about their lives,” Rohe said.