23 Questions with Class of ’23 salutatorian Charles Lin

James Farley, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After four years of hard work and dedication in the classroom, senior Charles Lin has been awarded the title of Salutatorian of the Class of 2023. The Ghostwriter had the opportunity to sit down with Lin, getting to know more about him both inside and outside of the classroom.

Q: What was your favorite subject?

A: My favorite subject was either chemistry or math, I enjoyed them both and they really stimulated my mind. They are really interesting and solving problems is really fun, so I really enjoyed those two classes.

Q: Who was your favorite teacher?

A: Ms. Gardner, she is my Calculus BC teacher right now. The class itself is really famous for being hard, but I think she did a really great job breaking it down in class and making it easy to understand. [Also], she answers questions really well.

Q: What was your hardest class?

A: Calculus BC. It was really a struggle at first, and definitely one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Before I took it I thought I was pretty good at math, but when I was taking it I realized I was not as good. It was definitely a really challenging subject, but I learned a lot in the process.

Q: What was your easiest class?

A: German came pretty easily to me. Unfortunately I couldn’t take it this year because I didn’t have any room on my schedule, but when I did, it was a really nice class, and it wasn’t too strenuous.

Q: What was your most worthwhile class?

A: AP Statistics, I think that class probably has the most real word application out of all the classes I have taken. It was really interesting while I was doing it, and I am sure I will be using a lot of the concepts that I learned in that class in the future, as well.

Q: Where are you going to college and what is your major?

A: Carnegie Mellon University, and I am majoring in Finance.

Q: What made you realize that was the perfect college for you?

A: I knew going into the college application process that I wanted to study business but I also wanted to pick a school that was really well balanced in a lot of other areas, as well. Carnegie Mellon has a really good business program but it also has a lot of STEM and technical fields. I knew I wanted to get that balance because I really like science and technology, so I wanted to integrate those two together, and Carnegie Mellon provided that perfect balance. 

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

A: I’m kind of boring, I would have to go with chocolate.

Q: Where is your favorite vacation spot?

A: I like hiking a lot, so I would say the Badlands.

Q: What is the best book you have read recently?

A: Fahrenheit 451, I read that last year and I thought it would be a really tough read, but it was really interesting and it really makes you think a lot.

Q: What is your biggest hobby?

A: My biggest hobby is playing table tennis.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

A: [People] not being humble, arrogance rubs on my nerves a lot.

Q: What has been your favorite school lunch?

A: We had dumplings recently as a school lunch and I never had that before in school, so that was a really interesting experience.

Q: If you could spend one day with a person, living or dead, who would it be?

A: Probably Bill Gates, he seems like a really chill dude. Also, he is very smart so I would like to pick his brain with a lot of stuff.

Q: What is your favorite TV show?

A: I don’t watch TV that often but I really enjoyed watching the Big Bang Theory a couple of years ago.

Q: Who is your favorite Disney character?

A: I watched Tangled recently, so probably Flynn Rider, he is pretty cool.

Q: Where is your best study spot?

A: I just study in my room at home, I can focus the best there and I have everything I need so I like the comfort there.

Q: If you could be famous for anything, what would you want to be known for?

A: I would say just helping other people, I think that is the epitome of the human experience, taking what you are good at and applying it to helping other people. That is what I would define as true success.

Q: What is your funniest high school memory?

A: At Cotil last year, I played mini golf with a group of friends and it was a ton of fun [with] a lot of really funny moments.

Q: People think of being named the salutatorian as a great achievement. What is one time when you did not succeed?

A: I do DECA, and DECA is my biggest club commitment. In my sophomore year I did really well so I had a lot of expectations going into junior year. I really wanted to qualify for the international competition because that was going to be the first time in person that I could have gone since COVID, so I really hoped that I could make it and I didn’t, so that hurt a lot. I think it definitely showed me that you do not always have to succeed and you can have some setbacks because you can always come back stronger the year after.

Q: Do you prefer Dunkin’ or Starbucks?

A: Dunkin‘. I live right across from Dunkin’, and it is so much better.

Q: If you could have front row tickets to any event, what would it be?

A: Probably a concert, I really like listening to Green Day, so that would be a really fun experience.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A: I want to have created a start-up and be running it. I think that would probably be the ideal future.