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Anjali Krishna

Coppell High School senior Nikhil Kabra is ranked No. 4 in the graduating class of 2022. Kabra will attend the University of Texas at Austin in the fall and is majoring in electrical engineering.

Nikhil Kabra

What does it mean to you to be in the top 10?

It’s just an achievement representative of my efforts in high school. It’s just nice to see that my efforts throughout high school have almost been validated . 

What advice do you have for younger students?

Don’t be afraid to try new things. The best experiences I’ve had came from trying something out of my comfort zone, making mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake or even raise your hand in class; it is probably the biggest thing I’ve learned. Grades wise, surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are, that are talented in different ways. My group of friends always motivated me to be better. Hang out with people who you enjoy being with of course, but also people that push you to be better.

What is something you wish you told your ninth-grade self?

Don’t take things too seriously. I used to be pretty stressed about a lot of things. A lot of things that don’t seem to matter now because it’s been a few years. At the time, though, there were small things like a grade on a test that in the grand scheme of things don’t really matter. If you won’t remember something a month from now, don’t stress about it. 

What are your thoughts on the current education system and the college admissions process?

There’s a lot of misinformation about college admissions sometimes. A lot of people  fall into the trap of being good at everything. What I mean, it sounds like an attractive option and many are predisposed to that, but from what I’ve seen is if you’re extra-good at a few things, it’s better than just being good at everything. But really, you don’t even realize it until you start to look back. In economics, it’s called opportunity cost, and sometimes you have to give up the things you love to focus on a certain activity. 

How have you worked towards this honor?

The biggest thing is that I have a document that I write all my homework on. It’s pretty literal advice. But finding some way to stay organized is so important. I have friends who have planners or color coded journals, but I’m not that creative so I just write it on a document. I know it’s super easy to get distracted or procrastinate, and keeping your things organized helps with that. Also, I find that it helps to compartmentalize your time. If you’re doing something for fun like hanging out with friends or watching a movie, don’t worry about homework. But at the same time when you do your homework, focus on it and don’t think about the other things you could be doing.

What are your goals for the future? How do you think your hard work will contribute to that?

I am not a huge planner and sort-of do things as they come, but I am going to study electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Academically, I would love to work on generating some type of innovation. Non-academically, Austin is a different city, and I want to meet new people and experience new things. 

What is your secret to success?

It sounds like one of those YouTube ads, but it’s going to be different for everyone. Do what works best for you. Find something that keeps you motivated to get it. Because it’s, as I found, pretty easy to get distracted.

What is the hardest lesson you have learned?

This might sound really ironic coming from me, but it was the fact that academics are not as important as people make them out to be. I mean, they are super important, but there are things that are more important than that like the people you spend time with. Your four years in high school won’t come back. The people and the experiences you have don’t come back, so I don’t remember the grades I got on tests, but I do remember that one time my friends and I went to go watch Spiderman No Way Home.

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