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Independence High School valedictorian Obaid Rehman finds his stride

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Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:00 am

Obaid Rehman is a soft-spoken young man with a bright future ahead of him. Independence High School’s graduation ceremony is no sweat compared to the news he is waiting for.

“I’m worried about college, really. I want to go to the University of the Pacific and be a pharmacist, but they haven’t accepted me yet,” he said. He will hear on June 1 if he can begin walking down the career path he decided on six years ago.

The 17-year-old lives in Lodi with his parents, Naseem and Fahima Rehman, and two younger brothers.

Rehman is the type of student to lay low in high school. He started at Independence High School in ninth grade after a rocky transition in middle school.

“In middle school, I messed up. I was not paying attention, I was struggling with all the different classes,” he said. “I just freaked out trying to get resettled.”

But in high school, taking independent study classes at his own pace just clicked.

Rehman started getting A’s again. His best subjects were biology and history, especially the Renaissance and Middle Ages.

He powered through credits in ninth grade, quickly enough that he finished his high school requirements in December 2012.

Since then, he has spent time at home reading science fiction novels and playing “Halo” on his Xbox 360. He’s also taking online classes through Humphreys College to fulfill his general requirements and to fill up his free time.

This summer, Rehman wants to buy his first car and take a road trip to Reno, Nev.

In a way, the graduation ceremony is a minor blip on his radar. It’s been six months since Rehman took high school classes, and he still has years of college ahead of him.

“I still have school to go to. I won’t be done for another five or six years, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me,” he said.

His advice to future students? High school is the easy part.

“I’m doing college courses right now, and it’s 200 percent harder. Work through it. It’s not that hard, it just seems like it,” he said.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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