Student Spotlight: Piasevoli to Princeton

Piasevoli is off to Princeton this Fall.

Carla Contreras

Piasevoli is off to Princeton this Fall.

Lillian Hui, Co-Editor 2

The New Milford school district is known to nurture and develop their students into well-rounded people that will become the leaders of the next generation. This year though, there is a specific student that stands out among the 170 graduating seniors. Max Piasevoli was accepted into Princeton University and has made his decision to attend the school this Fall.

NMHS principal, Mr. Louis Manuppelli, said Piasevoli’s acceptance into Princeton will bring notoriety and attention to not only Piasevoli, but the school district as well.

“Whenever any student excels in the classroom, it becomes an example to others. We hope that his achievement shows other students that Princeton is an option for them as well as any other lofty goal they may dream of pursuing.”

Originally, Piasevoli had a lengthy list of schools he had initially wanted to apply to. Schools included: Boston College, Northeastern University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Duke University, Stony Brook University, New York University, Vanderbilt University, Stanford University, Princeton University, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State University.

His final decision was to apply to only six schools and they were: Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Boston College, and Stanford. Although Piasevoli has applied to six schools in total, he stated he was 95% sure that he would be attending Princeton since it was his first choice.

Piasevoli said he first seriously considered Princeton as an option when he visited the school his freshman year. “I fell in love with the school instantly! Even as a freshman, I always kept Princeton in the back of my mind while I worked in school, almost like a dream.”

He was asked if he was influenced by anyone to apply to an Ivy League school but his answer was surprising. “No one specifically told me to apply to an Ivy League school, but I feel like especially in New Jersey, all academically driven students grow up around a certain buzz for the Ivy League and the prestige that it brings.”

He added, “Personally, I was never drawn by the label of the Ivy League; I think it’s overrated quite frankly. Yes, there are clearly schools of the Ivy League that I admire, but universities should be judged by much more than this one term of association. People should focus more on a school’s quality of professors, the opportunity for research and experiences for students to grow outside of the classroom setting, and even the entire atmosphere created on campus!”

Students anxiously wait for their acceptance letters to colleges and of course, this was no different for Piasevoli. “I found out that I was accepted into Princeton on December 16. I knew that the decision was coming out at 3 p.m. and it was honestly painful waiting throughout the day.”

He explained, “The most painful part was especially when I tried logging on to the Princeton website to read my decision, and the site wasn’t working!”

Piasevoli checked his email quickly after practicing his part for the school’s lip dub, Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, with other students and found his acceptance letter waiting for him.

“Initially, there was a time lapse between my recognition of my acceptance and my actual response because I read the letter five times through to make sure that the letter said, ‘Accepted,’ before I told anyone!”

He added that the first person he told was his friend, Jane Frampolsky and soon, other people in the hallways heard them, one of which was English teacher Mrs. Jessica Groff who announced it on the school’s loud speaker.

Competing against other students who were deemed more qualified for admittance to Princeton really made Piasevoli doubt whether he would get in or not. “Applying to any college just makes you realize that there are a lot of smart kids. Not only in our nation, but in the entire world, so I really didn’t think I stood out in this mass of really smart students. ”

Speaking honestly, Piasevoli even said he did hesitate in attending Princeton after his acceptance. “Princeton has the top undergraduate education in the nation according to U.S. News, and I really feared, ‘Would I be able to make it at Princeton, or would I break under the pressure?’”

“Despite this initial hesitation, now I’m motivated by this opportunity that has been made available to me. Yes, I know attending Princeton will entail an incredibly challenging academic experience of a whole new level that calls for perseverance and going above and beyond everyday. Still, I know that if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere!”

Mr. Manuppelli added that Piasevoli was not only successful in college acceptances, but outside of the classroom, as well. “Max not only achieved at a very high level in the classroom, but was also very involved in various activities, sports, and music. His ability to ‘do it all’ was one of the main reasons for his Princeton acceptance.”

Piasevoli added that he truly appreciates all of the hard work and effort that he put into the classroom and his after school activities. “I always worked hard in school knowing that I would have options in life if I constantly tried to do my best, and I did all of my clubs, sports, and experiences because I loved doing them! I think that really made the difference in the end; doing something because I had a love and interest in it rather than just for the reason of putting it on my application.”

Piasevoli said that he is looking forward to being able to learn more when he leaves New Milford and goes to Princeton. “I really can’t deny the fact that I’m a nerd at heart, and so I really love learning. This is why I picked Princeton, I know that it’s the best place for me to do so!”

“While I’m excited for Princeton, I can’t say that I entirely want to leave New Milford. I am endlessly grateful for New Milford and the many amazing teachers that it brought into my life who never hesitated to go the extra distance for me and other students. It’s because of these incredible teachers that I am inspired today to go to Princeton and find even more life changing teachers.”

Mr. Manuppelli wanted to wish Max the best of luck and to pursue his dreams, no matter what others say to him. “I would also like to remind him, ‘Once a Knight, Always a Knight!’ Represent us well Max!”

Piasevoli’s final words were to encourage others and he says that after getting his acceptance letter, he believes people should have more faith in themselves. “Due to insecurity, many people often restrict themselves from actualizing their goals, whether it be in applying to college or anything in life! Challenge yourself and dream big, and you’ll be amazing when these dreams become a reality.”