Senior Icons: David Jung


Photo Credit: David Jung

Griffin Crafa, Contributor

The following are direct quotes from Northport High School student David Jung in response to the questions he was asked during the interview.

Q: What is your favorite subject in school? Have you always liked this subject? Why do you like it? Have you ever had any challenges with it?

A: I’m going to say AP comparative politics because I just love immersing myself in the world of global politics. I think the unique lens that we get to see through with each and every country that we look into is just a great experience for all 12 of us in that class. You get to see Nigeria, you get to see Great Britain. You get to see all these countries and really see what makes all of them truly great. I think you can say I’ve always loved history. I started with Mr. McCullough in AP World and have stuck by Greenblatt’s side ever since. His classes turn out to be a bit of a gauntlet, so I think it’s mostly suffering the notes, and things of that like. But you know, it is what it is. I definitely love doing this sort of thing, you know, notes until 2 AM. Nothing stimulates me like notes until 2 AM.


Q: What is your least favorite subject? Has it always been your least favorite? Why don’t you like it?

A: I’d say lunch to be honest. As of the Third Quarter I have a lunch period, (in the First and Second Quarters I was taking Health). I think I dislike lunch because I have nothing to do in that period. Why would I waste my time sitting around and trying to look at things on my phone when I could be learning? I’ve always disliked lunch; it’s just so inane, you know. We’re just doing nothing. Everyone is just sitting around and doing nothing. Why do nothing when you can be productive? I mean honestly, I just don’t see the point to that sort of 42-minute period of relaxation. I just think that lunch is completely trivial and nobody should really value that kind of time in their day. I guess I didn’t have much of a choice when it came to taking lunch, especially when considering how all the schedules are questionably aligned for a lot of students. But that’s just how it turned out for me.


Q: What are your out-of-school or extracurricular activities?

A: One of my primary extracurriculars is being the NHS Symphony Orchestra President. It’s more of a “figure head” position than anything. I find myself doing this or that occasionally-if I feel like it. I don’t really think I’m helping too much with the ensemble, just like the occasional assignment or two, like concerts. It’s not too much. I also like composing music and do a little bit of that, I guess. I make music for different ensembles. I like chamber ensembles in particular. Symphonies are awful by the way-absolutely never do them. I’m a team captain for Relay for Life. We don’t have that many members this year, but I think we’re going to try our best and try to organize some cutesy kind of fundraisers, maybe a lemonade stand or two, you know, the usual. I’m in the Chess Club. Chess Club is cool. Cooley is a very good person. I’m informally Secretary of Mathletes. Mathletes is nice. We get to sit around and pretend to do math until Perico suspends us. I also sell chocolate, if that’s an extracurricular. I’m in a private orchestra called Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (that rhymes, right?). Basically we play a bunch of hard stuff, and nobody really knows what they’re doing, and they sit around for a couple of weeks, and suddenly you’re at Carnegie Hall. That’s just something that happens. Its like life, you know, like a “box of chocolates.” I am in a piano quintet outside of school and we mostly just yell at each other for two hours straight. The other groups tend to get along compared to us. I’m in Science Olympiads. We do science and we research scientifically. On the weekends, I just do history, my favorite subject. All day, everyday.


Q: Have you won or been nominated for any awards?

A: I never made it into All-State, despite doing a couple of musical things. It is what it is. No Siemens Semi-Finals. No scholarship at all so far, but that’s fine.


Q: What colleges have you been accepted into? Where are you still waiting to hear from? Where do you really want to go?

A: Just Brown and Stony Brook. That’s it. I guess “half” accepted into Carnegie Mellon. That’s a weird situation, but I can’t go to that school, so I don’t think that’s really an option. I was accepted for music composition but not for whatever other STEM thing I applied for. At Carnegie Mellon, you cannot change your major once you go there-you have to be very specialized when you apply there. I don’t think I want to pay $50,000+ for just an education in music composition because I just don’t see that being the most intelligent plan. I’m not waiting to hear from any other school. I was waitlisted at Columbia. Just two days ago I finished writing a letter that I sent to Columbia saying “please don’t reject me.” So we’re just waiting on that. Everything else is a “no.” Stony Brook definitely has the preferable financial aid option. Let’s make this easy: Stony Brook is free, but Brown is Brown and definitely not free.. But its Brown. If I can get in, I will probably go to Columbia because I do really like that school. Columbia has a bartending program. That’s definitely the only reason I want to go there. Well I can’t really act like I have a ton of options, you know. I applied to approximately 12-15 colleges. I didn’t even apply to all the Ivy Leagues. I ignored UPenn and Cornell. If I don’t get into Columbia, I will probably commit to Brown.


Q: What was the hardest part of the college application process for you? Why?

A: [Sigh]. The essays. Having to write the essays, especially if you’re applying to a lot of different schools. I think the most difficult thing when applying to colleges is having to make yourself be a completely different person for each school you are applying to. I think some schools in particular like the idea of having a specific kind of person that goes to their school. And whether you are that person or not, is not important at all. Who you are as a person on the deepest level means nothing. It’s about who you mold yourself as in front of those colleges on the most superficial level. It seems to be this way from personal experience, because you know, what else do they have to judge. I’m proud of my common app essay. It wasn’t really normal. It was an allegory, completely fictional. It was sort of a description of fantastical events, it was a fantasy to describe how I am as a person. I don’t know. They probably thought I was high as a kite, which is why Brown accepted me. You can’t depend on any one aspect when it comes to your college app. It’s the interview (if you get one), it’s the rec letters, it’s the essays, the common app and supplementary essays. There’s a lot to consider so start in like 8 years old and you should be good.


Q: Because of the amount of activities you were involved in and the rigorous courses you took, you were probably stressed and overwhelmed at times during your high school career. What did you do to de-stress and manage these difficult times?

A: It would be unoriginal to say “I don’t” because Nathaniel already said that in his interview, so let me think of what other response I can formulate. You just have to mentally detach yourself. Let’s not leave it at that. All interviews ask this question. “What do you do when you get stressed?” The quintessential question. Every person takes it differently, and so regardless of what my advice is, people will do what they think is most necessary. That could mean doing really stupid stuff, just so you can pull through all the things you need to get done. Whether that’s stupid or not is up for other people to judge from their perspective for themselves, compared to me for my own situation. So I don’t really know what to say. Wait-I have an even better answer to this question: the generic answer. “I play video games.”


Q: What was the hardest part of your high school experience? Do you wish you had done anything differently? Why? What decisions are you most proud of?

A: How long do you want this interview to go? I don’t think there was any singular hardest thing. I think the most difficult thing is just the sheer amount of things that you have to take care of at once. For some people it’s more difficult to manage the number of tasks and for some people it’s just difficult to get rid of one thing. Fortunately, I love history with Greenblatt so I would absolutely never regret taking those sort of classes and burdening myself academically, but whatever, whatever. Comparative Politics-favorite class. Besides that, I think the most difficult thing, yeah it’s a mix for everyone, but for me at least it was the sheer amount of things that would come in waves. Waves, not just like a steady stream, you know, but all at once, maybe some calm, then all at once. You never really feel the calm either in the change. It’s just anticipating the next thing that’s going to happen. I absolutely don’t regret taking most of my history classes, so I guess that’s out of the ballpark when it comes to doing things differently. I’m not really a person of regret. Taking a history class with Greenblatt is hardly a burden. Taking those notes until 2 AM each night is a worthy endeavor, so that isn’t an issue. So what am I proud of? I’m proud that I didn’t have a nervous breakdown because I feel like a lot of people do have that sort of struggle, but one thing that I’ve managed to maintain is to a degree my psyche. There’s just being tired, and then there’s actually being on the brink of mental disaster, so just not letting that happen is an achievement in it of itself.


Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Which level of truth do I want to present…I sit in my chair, and I look at my computer screen, and I probably just look at it and let it stay off, but I just sit and stare. Let’s say that’s what I like to do in my free time.


Q: Is there anything else you’d like to put out there that wasn’t covered?

    A: I pledge allegiance to Queen Fragg, and her mighty state of hysteria. I think I’ve said a lot of stuff, so you can honestly make 15 different impressions of who I am as a person to the public, the public being everyone who reads The Port Press. I hope the Marching Band does well. I hope the band excels in everything they have to offer for the next generation of Northport students. I wish Ms. Janke and the rest of the orchestra well.