Amidst a rough week, the alarm clock goes off, once again.
George Linares lies there in shock, neglecting the fact that it’s time to get up, already, despite his feeling like he had no sleep.
Hearing cracks in his bones and feeling a slight pull in his hamstrings, he wishes to just go back to sleep.
But he can’t. All of the voices of which tempt him to lie right back down are diminished by the louder voice in his head telling him he needs to be successful. He needs to get through this day full of AP tests, band practice, football practice, college applications, AP homework, and the further worries a high school student endures.
“But why?” he asks himself. “Why do I need to do so much when I am only a 16 year old high school kid? Why can’t I just be like the other kids who don’t do their work and still pass classes?”
Some of these questions take a minute to fully process and understand. For a second, he almost agrees with what he is thinking and puts the idea into motion in his head. After he thinks of the outcomes, he shakes his head.
He is George Linares, the boy who skipped third grade and is now a 16-year-old senior.
He is ranked second in the class, a part of marching, studio, jazz, and symphonic bands, an AP scholar, on the math team, on the track team, on the football team, an Access Mentor and a Peer leader. One might say he is a busy kid.
Linares is taking full advantage of the life his parents worked very hard to give him: a life many kids overlook.
Being in so many clubs and sports while maintaining straight As all throughout high school can be tough, which is an understatement. How can a person possibly manage these things?
Linares credits his Spotify premium account, listening to artists like DaBaby and Gunna, as a way to take his mind somewhere else and escape: “To handle stress in activities, I usually just begin to listen to music and really focus on what’s important, because the more I think about something, the worse it gets.”
A person’s character is usually most apparent when one falls down but somehow manages to keep going, and for Linares, that was his junior year.
“I felt this mostly during my junior year in the fall, since I had football practice every day after school, and then every Wednesday right after practice I had rehearsals for the marching band. Then, some weeks, the AP Bio and APUSH unit exams would be that Thursday and Friday, so I had no time at all to study and complete homework. On top of that, I had to practice and worry about the SAT that I had to take that spring which is very important to colleges.”
He responded by obtaining straight As, getting nominated as an AP Scholar, and crushing the SAT with a score of 1370.
Most people will gain a sense of triumph when conquering a part of their life and being successful in it, but for George, it’s more of an acknowledgment. For him, it’s all just putting himself in a “situation to succeed”.
When he wakes up most mornings questioning the why or how, he blatantly puts it off and does whatever he needs to in order to make his parents proud, and most importantly, himself proud.
Ever since the passing of his grandfather, time is something that Linares keeps in mind: “Even though there might be something going on in our lives that causes stress and chaos,” he said, “it’s important to remember to enjoy the time we have since that’s something we won’t ever get back.”