We asked our GHS National Merit Semifinalists to answer a few questions to get to know them better, below are the responses from Matthew Snyder:
How much have you pushed yourself academically in high school regarding class choices and scheduling? Are there others who have pushed or encouraged you?
I have very much been pushed by my brother. He hasn’t been directly pushing me, so I guess a lot of what I feel is based on myself, but I have always strived to be like him and to excel. I have tried to take the hardest classes that Goshen offers, and I had to drop orchestra this year since I am pursuing the full IB diploma. (Editorial note: He dropped Symphonic orchestra for the 1st semester only but is still in the Camerata orchestra. In fact, he is the Concertmaster for Camerata. The concertmaster is a musical leader with widely ranging responsibilities, from tuning the orchestra, keeping time, and playing solo passages to working closely with the conductor.)
How much time do you spend studying?
I must be honest when I say that I do not believe I spend more than the average time studying. I would say that I even study less than other people. I do, however, focus fully on what I am doing when I am doing it which I believe has helped me to successfully achieve what I have wanted to in my high school career. I study until I understand the material. For history, that means reading packets and taking notes and then rereading the packets which usually takes hours. However, for math I don’t really study at all unless I am confused by something or don’t fully understand it.
Do you feel that SRT is a valuable tool for students? If so, why?
I do believe SRT is a very valuable time for students, especially this year. In previous years, I have had extra time so I would go down to the orchestra room and practice. But this year I have been spending most of my SRT sessions working on homework, especially a highly valued presentation that I am collaborating with someone else on. Having SRT allows us to talk and make sure we are on the same page when we are both available.
What do you like to do with your free time?
I very much like to play games during my free time. I play card games with my family, strategic games (like chess) with random people online, and I play Rocket League (a videogame that is soccer with cars). It’s very fun for me but also allows me to develop certain skills that have been very useful to me. I personally think I have been able to focus well and catch hold of details easily because of my avid gameplaying.
What are your plans for next year and beyond?
I plan to go to college next year. Hopefully, I will get accepted into Yale or Harvard so that I can study psychology. I want to learn about why people behave in certain ways and how that works, and I hope to eventually become studied for some of my revealing experiments.
What is the best thing about Goshen schools? What is the worst?
I think the best thing about Goshen Schools is the experienced personnel. I really appreciate some of my teachers because of their experience in teaching. They know the information well and can answer all sorts of questions about it. They also encourage me to push myself because they understand that I need to be the one to push myself.
As you can tell from the posts about the GHS national merit scholar semifinalists, they are very busy! For Matthew, one of his interests is chess. He has represented Goshen Schools in chess for many years, and his group of friends has been recognized by the school board several times for finishing well in state chess competitions.
From a post on March 25, 2019: Congratulations to our GHS chess teams who competed Saturday at the state team chess finals in Martinsville, Indiana. In a field of 29 teams, our “A” team captured 2nd place, state Runner-Up. Matthew Snyder led the way with 4 wins and a draw against the opposing team’s strongest players. Daniel Elizalde followed with 4 wins. Soroosh Kermani and Brenton Pham added 3 wins each.
Congratulations, Matthew, on being named one of only four National Merit Semifinalists in Elkhart County. We wish you the best as you complete your senior year and move on to your bright future!