National Merit semifinalist: Hayley Rassuchine | Boulder City High School

■ What college do you plan on attending and for what major?

I would like to attend the University of Chicago. Although I am not positive what I would like to study in college, I promised my theater teacher I would minor in theater.

■ What extracurricular activities do you participate in?

I volunteer for many Boulder City community events and organizations through my school's National Honor Society and Interact Club. This year I am vice president of National Honor Society. Theater is an important aspect of my life. It is a second home and family.

■ What do you do for fun?

Watch movies with my best friend and analyze them way too much.

■ In detail, how did you prepare for the PSAT?

I did the free PSAT practice book, but I have, in fact, been preparing for the PSAT since I started high school. Fortunately, I have been lucky to have teachers who put up with my exuberance for learning.

■ Why are grades so important to you?

My parents have always made school a priority, and because of the lessons they instilled in me, grades have come to represent future possibilities. It also helps that I am just one of those weird people who love school.

■ What's your favorite movie and book?

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and "Inherit the Wind," by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, which is technically a play, but we study it in English class so it counts.

■ What's a guilty pleasure of yours -- such as a TV show, movie or hobby -- and why are you ashamed of liking it?

Arguing over any subject imaginable is a guilty pleasure of mine. It must seem so pointless to everyone around me that I am still trying to convince my U.S history teacher that we did not lose the War of 1812 (not that I am saying we won, it was a tie), but it is exhilarating to just argue with someone, especially when both sides realize that it is all in good fun.