Getting to Know the GS Class of 2018

   Less than two weeks of school remain for the graduating class of 2018, a fact that evokes many feelings for the seniors, who are anxiously preparing for their future.

  As one might expect, the 2018 seniors have no small amount of things to share, nor dreams to realize. Here are six of them and their stories.

 

 

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Describe yourself. What are your hobbies, interests? Who do you hang out with? Etc.

  Well, I’m not that interesting of a person. I do mock trial, I like running, and I try to go to the gym at least four times a week.

Where did you go to elementary and middle school?

  My living room! I was homeschooled [laughs]. But I did go to Saltsburg starting 8th grade.

Freshmen, sophomores, and even juniors don’t really understand what it’s like to be a senior. Could you sum up the experience?

  A lack of motivation – that’s all I have to say! I was literally the nerdiest freshman you’ve ever met. I did every project like a month beforehand. I would get the work before it was even assigned… and it would be done before it was assigned. This year, I barely do my math homework!

Describe the feelings of being nearly two weeks from freedom.

  Indecisive – that’s the one word I’d describe it with. Maybe that’s just me, though. Everyone’s like “What do you want to do with your life?” and I say “That’s a great question [laughs]. You could answer it better than I can.”

Is there anything you can’t wait to do once you’re out and free?

  I mean, I’m excited for college. You get to study what you’re interested in more so. So it’s actually finding out what you like, rather than just a little bit of everything. So that’s cool. I guess I’m also excited to do internships and research and actually accomplish something besides “Congrats, you’re on honor roll! You know what I mean?”

Tell us a little bit about your near future plans. Are you going to college? If not, will you be working?

  I plan on going to Penn State, tentatively for chemical engineering, I have no idea if that’s going to stay the same – actually, I do know that.  

Why Penn State?

  It’s in our state – which is a big thing because I didn’t want to go super far away. It’s a good distance. It’s also very accredited in the field that I am pursuing, and so, obviously, accreditation is important. And it seems like a fun place to be. I’m not joining a sorority, though [laughs].

  Penn state also has a nuclear reactor. So that’s pretty nifty.

Will you continue postgraduate work? Why or why not?

  Oh yeah, of course. Not everyone but most people go to college, and you’re not going to be distinguished just by having a bachelor’s. And besides, I want to get my MBA because I want to be the boss [laughs]. I don’t do well with taking orders, so I want to be educated. I think going to a UC school would be cool. My mom went to UC Berkeley, but I’m not looking at Berkeley, because that’s like – [indicates “high level” with hand].

You’ve learned a lot of things here, some of which will never serve you again. Are there valuable things you have learned at GS?

  I learned a lot through mock trial about leadership and working as a team, especially through controversy. There was a lot of butting heads, but you still have to work as a team. So, working with other people would be a good thing to say.

What will you miss most about GS? Will you miss it at all?

  I think it’s cute. Everybody’s so nice here. This is me comparing two different schools, by the way. There is not one good thing I have to say about my last school other than my social studies teacher: the only decent thing about that school.

  But at this school, everyone is so nice. I came in my first day and, other than one person in my Spanish class, everyone said “hi” to me, and they were all really chill. I feel like I’ve been here for a long time even though I’ve been here less than two years.

  It’s a lot different from other schools. The other schools, I think, are really cliquey. Like really cliquey. But here I feel like I have a friend from every different group.

  I like how we set up our honors classes, too. It’s just the right amount of rigor without being overwhelming because of the block schedule, which definitely helps us learn faster. When I was working at Wendy’s with a kid from another school, they were still doing things in calculus that we had been done with in three days. We move so much faster than everyone else, just in a good way.

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Describe yourself. What are your hobbies, interests? Who do you hang out with? etc.

  Well, I love the outdoors; anything outdoors is basically where I’ll be.

Freshmen, Sophomores, and even Juniors don’t really understand what it’s like to be a senior. Could you sum up the experience?

  Yeah, it’s rough. You start looking ahead, but not in the present, where you are now. You don’t worry about high school. It starts becoming “Oh, what college do I want? What do I have to do for college?” Your senior year, Senioritis is real. It does kick in.

Describe the feelings of being nearly two weeks from freedom.

  [Jokingly] Me, I’m like “How many more days can I miss before I get sanctioned?” I’m down to four, by the way [laughs].

Is there anything you can’t wait to do once you’re out and free?

  I’m excited to go to college, get out of the house, and get away from the family for a little while. And yeah, I want to do all the internships and stuff, but actually accomplish something with what I feel passionate in.

Tell us a little bit about your near future plans. Are you going to college? If so, where? If not, will you be working?

  I’m planning on going to Penn State Behrend for plastics engineering, but I don’t know if that’ll stay because I’m debating environmental systems engineering, so there’s that.

Why did you pick Behrend?

  Penn State Behrend has one of the few plastics programs around. I think they’re like one in five in the country that has a plastics program. Originally, when I toured Penn State Behrend, I realized how big it was and how many people graduate with a major in plastics. I had taken a tour at MSA – that’s Material Safety Appliances, and I wanted to look into it more, so I did what I guess you could call a job shadow at MSA. I ended up loving the everyday routine.

Will you continue postgraduate work? Why or why not?

  It depends on what the job requires. I’ll do my internships throughout my degree, and if whoever wants me to go back for school, I’ll go back for school. If that helps me move up, I’ll do a little extra school. It’s all what they want and what I want. I don’t know, though, at the moment, because I haven’t, you know, started yet.

What will you miss most about GS? Will you miss it at all?

  Well, I guess you could miss it because it’s a small school. Not like Hempfield, you know?  I’ll miss the small atmosphere at Greensburg Salem. You can get one-on-one teacher time, not like at college.

  And I like the block schedule more than anything. It seems the day goes faster and you learn more. You don’t have as many classes to do homework in.

  But yeah, I’m not gonna miss it at all [laughs]. I’m glad to get out and move on.

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Describe yourself. What are your hobbies, interests? Who do you hang out with? Etc.

  Music. That’s my biggest passion right now. Pretty much all I do is go home, play guitar and read, sometimes.

Any clubs or activities in the school?

  Oh, yeah. I did French club and foreign exchange this year. I’ve also done numerous choir activities, like county chorus, select ensemble and stuff like that.

Where did you go to elementary and middle school?

  I went to Hutch, but only for 5th grade. I moved from South Carolina.

Freshmen, Sophomores, and even Juniors don’t really understand what it’s like to be a senior. Could you sum up the experience?

  Being a senior is getting to the point where you’re ready to just leave, and sometimes it is hard to find that motivation because you know you’re so close. You’ve been through school so much, and the last year really wears you down with a bunch of deadlines coming up, like, college applications, signing up for scholarships, doing your senior project, and preparing yourself for your next step.

Describe the feelings of being nearly two weeks from freedom.

  It’s so exciting. I’m kind of nervous, but I think the excitement overrides that, because I’m ready to move on to the next phase of my life and get into my actual interests. I’m getting into foreign language.

Is there anything you can’t wait to do once you’re out and free?

  This summer I plan on trying to go to as many concerts as I can. I’m going to Warped Tour, and I’m also going to see this band called The Wrecks.

Tell us a little bit about your near future plans. Are you going to college?

  Yes, I am going to college. I am going to IUP in the fall, and my major is Spanish Education and hopefully I’m going to minor in French. And then after college, my plan is to teach abroad.

A major in Spanish but a minor in French? What could you do with that combination?

  Well, my plan is to get certified in Spanish and then certified in French. There’s no French major at IUP, but there are still ways I can get certified in teaching French with a minor.

Does teaching abroad also mean teaching English?

  [Skeptically] Yes? I might be able to teach Spanish to very young kids, but mostly it would be teaching English as a second language. Then, once I’m done, I just want to teach Spanish or French once I decide to settle down.

Why did you pick IUP?

  Because their education program is really good, and they’ve got a nice foreign language program. And, my cousin went there. She actually started out as an education major, but then she switched to biochemistry [chuckles]. Really big change, I know.

Will you continue postgraduate work? Why or why not?

  Yes, but I don’t know where. I’m just kind of seeing where life takes me. I might even still be going to IUP, but once I get closer, I’ll figure that out. I just gotta get through right now.

What will you miss most about GS? Will you miss it at all?

  I think I’ll really miss the relationships between the teachers and the students. Whenever I was struggling in school, I really did get the help I needed. We have a lot of one-on-one, and our school’s really special because we have that close connection with the teachers.

You’ve learned a lot of things here, some of which will never serve you again. Are there valuable things you have learned at GS?

  I don’t know. Because we live in a small town, we’re nice to everyone. We’re nice to everyone we encounter because we don’t know who they are or what they’re going through. I think I’ve learned to be nice to everyone, just to say “hi” to them even if that’s the best part of their day.

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Describe yourself. What are your hobbies, interests? Who do you hang out with? Etc.

  Well, I work two jobs at New Haven Court and Famous Footwear. New Haven is a Senior living home. I’m in National Honors Society, Red Cross, and Interact Club. I love playing soccer, playing sports – I like to watch football on TV, hockey occasionally. My friends are all seniors and so is my girlfriend, Makayla.

Where did you go to elementary and middle school?

  I went to Metzgar Elementary and Greensburg Salem Middle School.

Freshmen, sophomores, and even juniors don’t really understand what it’s like to be a senior. Could you sum up the experience?

  Well, being a senior entails a lot of responsibility. For me, I had two jobs and had to constantly keep up with those. I had to make sure I was there on time – I left school early for work release. Then you also have the senior project, which takes up a lot of your time if you want to do it well, which I did. You’re always doing journal entries, you’re always thinking about your senior project. And then you’re also thinking about college and getting all the requirements done – Kent State requires ALEKS, this online math test, and all these applications. Then you have all the requirements of all the clubs you’re in. I did National Honors Society and Dodge for Dementia this year – a huge part of my senior year. And then you have your sports, your practices that run two and a half hours after school. I’d go straight to work from those, come home, work on my senior project, do any homework, then go to bed – [laughs] – for about four or five hours a night.

Describe the feelings of being nearly two weeks from freedom.

  [Sighs] I’m very excited and I cannot wait. Yes.

Is there anything you can’t wait to do once you’re out and free?

  Well, I can’t wait for summer, obviously, my last summer with all my close friends because we’re all going to different colleges. I cannot wait for three months without a lot of stress. Even as like a junior, you had a little bit with thinking about your senior project, but with these three months, I’ve got all my college requirements done by now, I’m just so excited and cannot wait to relax.  And then I cannot wait to just experience college and do what I actually love to do.

Tell us a little bit about your near future plans. Are you going to college?

  I’m going to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. They have over 45,000 students across eight campuses, and I’m going to the main campus. I’m majoring in architecture and I am doing a 5-year program. It’s a masters program; after five years you receive your master’s. That’s one of the reasons I’m going to Kent State. I got about $55,000 in scholarships, too, and that’s another reason why I chose them [laughs]. My other schools were Penn State, University of Maryland, and Ohio State. And all are great schools, especially in architecture, but Kent State rises above all of them because of the 5-year masters program.

  I also like the distance, and the number of students it had was exactly what I wanted it to be. Penn State and Ohio State had a ton, and, well, Maryland had a similar number but it was just a little farther away. So Kent State just mixed it all together and made it perfect.

So why architecture?

  Well, I’ve always had an interest in designing things. Just, literally anything. I’m really good at layouts and planning, and that’s what you have to be when you’re doing architecture. And I love any shows on HGTV, any of those interior design or architecture shows. Also, my grandparents always built their own houses when I was young. You know, they designed their own houses, did all this outdoor outside stuff. And I always was involved so it gave me a big interest in it.

Will you continue postgraduate work? Why or why not?

  Yes I will. After graduation from college, I already have an internship set up with Des Moines architects in Pittsburgh. They have a close relationship to Kent State University.

What will you miss most about GS? Will you miss it at all?

  I will miss a lot of the great things we do here, one of them being that we were able to do Dodge for Dementia this year. I will also miss Mrs. Harper a lot. I will miss a lot of the teachers here, I didn’t say all, I meant some. Mrs. Harper being one of them. I have grown to know a lot of people from different grades, and you know, we do a lot of things here at Greensburg.

You’ve learned a lot of things here, some of which will never serve you again. Are there valuable things you have learned at GS?

  Yes, for sure. I’ve learned a lot of valuable things, well, academic things obviously, but just a lot about other valuable life things. A lot of our teachers are really good about just talking to you about not just teaching you about academics, but also life skills as well. Mr. Zahorchak and Mrs. Harper would be two teachers that do that.

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Describe yourself. What are your hobbies, interests? Who do you hang out with? Etc.

  Well, I would say I’m really into art and writing. My hobbies are really anything to do with art. My favorite thing is just hanging out with people, talking to them, seeing what they’re into. I definitely surround myself with my closest friends and try to make the strongest relationships I can with them.

Where did you go to elementary and middle school?

 Hutchinson and Greensburg Salem Middle School, But I transferred to Maxwell Elementary (Hempfield) for a year.

Do you remember anything from that year at Hempfield?

  Well, I was in a wheelchair when I was there because I broke my leg really severely, and I remember that people would put me at the top of the ramp and push me down. At first it was fun, but then people just started doing it real fast, and I would fall. I re-broke my leg twice because of it.

Freshmen, sophomores, and even juniors don’t really understand what it’s like to be a senior. Could you sum up the experience?

  Stress. All the time. Like, everything feels like it’s so insurmountable. And the senior project, even if you have everything prepared, feels super stressful. And it’s a very hand-holdy project; it tells you everything you need to do, but there’s just so much. It’s definitely a lot more intellectually demanding to be a senior, and I don’t know if that’s because I take all the honors classes, but regardless, I think that everyone could agree.

Describe the feelings of being nearly two weeks from freedom.

  Well, I’m no longer living with my mom, so once I graduate, I will be 100% completely free, and I can do whatever I want. I feel throughout my entire life I’ve been pushed to not live my life to the fullest, and once I graduate, school will be over and I won’t have any obligations except for work. It’s really surreal. I think about it, and I can’t believe that I’m already here. I remember like it was yesterday being 12 years old and saying ‘I can’t wait to be 18 and graduate and be free.’ And now here I am.

Is there anything you can’t wait to do once you’re out and free?

  Travel. I want to pack a bag, and if I don’t have any money to fly or drive, I’ll walk somewhere. Just go. I want to see new things, new people.

Tell us a little bit about your near future plans. Are you going to college?

  I’m looking for jobs right now. I’ve called at a bunch of places: Panera, Journey’s and a couple pet stores, but I’ve heard literally nothing back from anyone.

  For college, I’m going to triple Cs for a year for architectural design, because I want to do something with art that will make me money. After WCCC I want to transfer up north to Mt. Aloysius.

So why WCCC?

  ‘Cause it’s cheap. I wanted to get my cores out of the way. I want to spend as little money as possible on college because I have… $15 to my name?

What about beyond college? Let’s say you’re out and you have your architectural design degree. What now? Will you continue postgraduate work?

  I’m not sure. It really depends on how much money I have or if I’m even still enjoying the major I’m in. I might decide to change it. But besides that, I still want to travel. Even if I just have $10 in my pocket, I’m still going to try. As long as I can go somewhere and not go somewhere in my life and I’m not stagnant, I’ll be happy. Conformity and consistency really irritate me.

You’ve learned a lot of things here, some of which will never serve you again. Are there valuable things you have learned at GS?

  To be honest: academically, no. I’ve learned a lot of things academically but I’m never going to remember them, Ten years from now I’m not going to remember what a logarithm is. I barely know what a log is and I learned it last year. There’s a lot of things I’m ever going to need and much less remember.

  But socially, some of the lessons I’ve learned have absolutely formed me into who I am today. I’ve been on all parts of the social spectrum: I’ve been one of the popular kids, I’ve been bullied, I’ve been the bully. I’ve been the quiet kid in the back, and I’ve been the troublemaker. I’ve been everywhere. And I think I’ve learned a lot about everyone in general. I’ve learned that everyone’s really different in their own way, and I really enjoy looking at that. I’ve learned so many social lessons and how to deal with people, how to treat problems differently based on the personalities involved.

  I think the most important thing I’ve learned throughout high school is what it says on my arm. “I am mine before I am anyone else’s.” Originally, I got the tattoo because it was something that meant something to me. I wanted to cover up my scars. My mom didn’t want me to get a tattoo at all, so before I got it, my mom said to me: ‘You need to get a quote on your arm if you’re going to get that ugly snake.’ So, I got upset and said ‘Fine, I’ll put a quote on it,’ and I got this one, and she was furious because she knew that was a shot at her.

Will you miss GS at all? What will you remember it for?

  My friends, and the absolutely hilarious memories that I’ve made. I get so sad when I think about leaving my friends here. Odds are, I’m not going to talk to most of them again, and you know, I’m going to try and they’re going to try, but distance will separate us, and that’s just how it is.

  I’ll never see what they grow up to be as a person, at least fully. And even then, they won’t be the same as I know them now. So I think I’ll miss people the most.

  I’ll miss the structure. I’m terrified of having a life without structure. I feel like I’ll just lose all motivation for everything. Realistically, I know I won’t. I’ll push myself because that’s who I am.

You hate conformity and consistency but you’re terrified of living without structure?

  I make my own structure. I have my own little ledger I carry around to keep a schedule. You know how in the summer when you’re like ‘Oh, I’m so depressed because I have nothing to do, and I don’t have the motivation to seek something to do?’ That’s what I’m scared of.

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