North Hall High School senior Nate Boyd said he’s always involved himself in a variety of activities, and as he made his way through school, that translated to keeping extremely busy.
Nonetheless, Boyd said his enjoyment of his activities — whether it be sprint kayaking, dragon boat racing, Boy Scouts or his various school clubs — has made it easy to balance. And he hasn’t let any of it stand in the way of his academics.
Though he’s almost certain he’ll attend Georgia Tech, Boyd also noted he’s been waitlisted at Rice University, Tulane University and Columbia University.
The 18-year-old Eagle Scout is graduating with a staggering 4.61 GPA, a full International Baccalaureate diploma and internship experience at Longstreet Clinic, among other accolades.
He also said he and his friends have all made it to the top of their graduating class, so his achievement has been less about competition and more about trying to do his very best.
“Whenever I’m loaded up on extracurriculars and things that I have to do and I don’t have much free time, I actually work much more efficiently,” he said. “It’s really just been the routine of getting stuff done.”
Boyd said he recognized how lucky he is to have a family support system as strong as he has and one that pushes him to always do the best that he can. He said their encouragement to be involved in various activities and become well-rounded have carried through most of his life.
Class of 2021
Read stories of outstanding seniors across Hall County in our Class of 2021 special section. Pick up a copy of the print publication, which lists names of all the graduating seniors, inside the May 8-9 weekend edition of The Times.
“So it’s more like a continuation of sticking with what I’ve always done, and luckily I enjoy all these activities that I’ve participated in. So really, it’s just been through the support of my friends and my family … and just going with the flow, I guess,” he said, with a chuckle.
COVID-19 was both a blessing and a curse for Boyd, he said.
The teen said before the pandemic, he was comfortable relying on his busy school and extracurricular schedule, with set times for classes and practice, to keep him disciplined. But when school moved online, and many assignments became asynchronous, Boyd said he had to work much harder to make sure he stayed on top of things.
“Like I said, I do best when I have a stricter schedule, and I don’t have as much free time,” he said. “When COVID happened, it was like … you wake up and you have assignments, and if you do them, they get done. If not, then oh well. So for me, it was more personal discipline that I had to get used to.”
Through the shift to online work, Boyd said he learned to prioritize and improve his time management, skills he said he said he’s happy he was forced to work on before heading to college.
In terms of his career, Boyd said he hasn’t totally made up his mind yet.
His work and observation of doctors at Longstreet has piqued his interest in the medical field — he said if he could snap his fingers and become a physician, he would — but he also said he hasn’t ruled out a career in the business world, though he doesn’t know exactly what he’d choose. He said he’s looking forward to exploring his interests more in college.
Boyd added that it’s “a little scary” and bittersweet to leave his friends and home in Hall County to head to Atlanta for higher education, but he feels ready.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “Georgia Tech’s a great school. I’m really lucky.”