Princeton sophomore Paul Yi returns to Bob Jones, advises students

Paul Yi, a sophomore at Princeton University, returned to Bob Jones High School and advised students about what to expect during college life. (CONTRIBUTED)
Paul Yi, a sophomore at Princeton University, returned to Bob Jones High School and advised students about what to expect during college life. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Now a sophomore at Princeton University, Paul Yi returned to his alma mater to share tips about college life.

Yi was salutatorian in the Class of 2013 at Bob Jones High School.

He encouraged students to broaden their view of college options and stressed the importance of a college education. “The difference between what you can do with a high school education compared to a college education is widening,” Yi said.

Yi received a fully paid grant to attend Princeton and major in physics. “However, he worked this summer as a research intern in oceanography, (which) piqued his interest … to change his major to oceanography,” college and career advisor Sheila Roberts said.

As a Princeton freshman, Yi was truly independent from his parents for the first time. “I had to be intentional about every little activity … when and what to eat and going to sleep. No one’s around to tell you what you have to do,” he said.

Quizzed about preparing for college, Yi shared “a simple cost benefit analogy to articulate the importance of standardized tests. The PSAT for juniors and SAT and ACT for all high school students … earn the highest returns,” Yi said. He suggested studying daily for about two hours for two to three weeks.

“One could earn from $100,000 to $200,000 just by studying around 40-50 hours,” Yi said. His analogy will have exceptions, but “I believe this analogy holds true.”

Reminiscing about Bob Jones, Yi said classes and teachers greatly influenced him. “I’ll always remember help from Sheila Roberts. I was grateful …  to give back to the institution that was so pivotal for my development.”

After hearing Paul, several students visited Roberts to ask follow-up questions. “Teachers were also appreciative of Paul’s visit. Students were highly engaged in Paul’s presentation,” Roberts said. “Students often listen more intently to peers than an adult. They can identify more closely.”

Yi hopes to graduate in geosciences in 2017, pursue graduate studies in oceanography and study the oceans’ climate change.

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