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Graduation 2012: East Ridge's Junggu Lee works his way up

East Ridge High School senior Junggu Lee is No. 2 in his class with a GPA of 4.28. Lee will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus in the fall where he is tentatively planning to study biochemistry.

When East Ridge High School senior Junggu Lee started his senior year, his class ranking wasn't quite where he wanted it to be.

Lee, of Cottage Grove, was ranked about 20.

So Lee put his mind to it and eventually he was able to climb all the way up to be ranked the school's second highest student.

His GPA is 4.28.

"I was pretty pleased with my final ranking," Lee said. "I started pretty low, so I worked hard to move up.

"Going into my senior year I just wanted to see how far I can get and this is where I wanted to be."

Lee's study habits typically consist of studying late into the night -- sometimes as late as 1 a.m.

"It's kind of just what I'm used to," he said.

On average, Lee said he spends between two or three hours per night studying, but that increases to six or seven hours when he has a big test coming up.

Additionally, Lee said he tries to set aside the same time every night for schoolwork.

"I make sure to study at the same time every day because it will help you get into the rhythm," he said.

Lee said his favorite classes throughout high school have always been his science classes.

"I like learning about the way things work," said.

Lee said some of his favorite high school memories have been the school football games and just getting to know people in classes.

Lee will be attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus this fall where he is tentatively planning to study biochemistry.

Lee said he eventually wants to go to medical school and one day hopes to work as a cardiologist.

"But I'm keeping my options open," he said.

Lee said he is excited about graduation, but some of the things he is looking forward to about college are the same things he'll miss about high school.

"I'm looking forward to not being in a protected environment anymore and experiencing as much as I can," he said. "But, I'll miss the level of comfort that I have."

Lee's advice to upcoming seniors on how to best succeed, but not necessarily in academics is: "If you want something, you should try your hardest to go for it."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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