Drew E. Baldwin, 17, "can't wait to leave" his home in Sykesville and begin the life of a college student.
He sees chemistry, physics and graduate school in his future.
The South Carroll High School graduate and National Merit scholar will be heading south to Tulane University in New Orleans this month.
"I liked Tulane's science program and the scholarship they offered me," he said.
As far as he knows, he is the only Carroll resident planning to attend Tulane, a 160-year-old university with an enrollment of 6,500.
Drew will be one of about 1,800 freshman. He said he won't feel lost in a university five times the size of his high school.
During his college search, Drew said he was most attracted to Southern schools -- even though skiing is his favorite sport.
He considered Duke University in North Carolina and Rice in Houston, before making his final decision.
He said he chose Tulane because it is strong in the sciences and business. He would like to become an entrepreneur, seeking his fortune as an "occupational capitalist."
Luck alone didn't lead to the $87,000 in scholarships offered by colleges around the country. "I worked hard," he said.
A member of the National Honor Society and the Student Government Association and a varsity lacrosse player, Drew said his senior year at South Carroll High will help him the most in handling the rigors of college.
"This year, in science labs, I had the opportunity to work on individual projects and develop better lab technique," he said.
Until senior year, he found the science program in Carroll County "lacking."
"There wasn't the in-depth study I wanted," he said. "It may make it harder for me to catch up in college."
Between classes and labs this fall, Drew plans to participate in intramural sports and may take a stab at fencing. He also will continue to pursue his interest in drama, literature and architecture.
If he ever does make his fortune, he said he knows exactly what he will do with it.
A5 "I would like to sail around the world," he said.