Students find rejuvenating activities to participate in to start the new year right


Kayla Quach

A picture of freshman Kayla Quach from one of her previous trips to Las Vegas.

To properly ring in 2022, senior Logan Verlinde is throwing a New Year’s Eve party with “all of the old Polish ladies.” 

It is not the typical party for this occasion, with the room adorned with black and gold balloons and streamers, and everyone wearing cocktail party attire, but Logan’s party consists of him playing board games at his grandma’s house.

Even though this party doesn’t conform to the types that form in a typical teenager’s mind, Logan is truly excited to reunite with some family members that he has not seen in a while.

“[I’m looking forward to] creating new memories with my family,” Logan said, “especially the ones that I don’t get to see very often, and just rejoicing with them and rekindling everything because I haven’t seen a lot of them in almost two years.”

Along with playing board and card games, Logan’s get-together will, without a doubt, include a grandiose amount of cooking and food. With all of the ham, chili, and gołąbki being served, Logan and his family will eat delectable meals and go head-to-head in intense games as they watch the ball drop on TV with high expectations.

“[I’m] hoping that the music at the New Year’s Eve party is good,” Logan said. “Hopefully Mariah Carey remembers the lyrics [to her songs].”

Like Logan, freshman Kayla Quach will also be spending New Year’s Eve with her family, except she will be celebrating in the “City of Lights”—also known as Las Vegas, Nevada. Since she has family that lives in California, Kayla normally flies out west and takes a road trip to Las Vegas.

This year, Kayla and her family will be staying at the Bellagio Hotel and are planning on watching fireworks on New Year’s Eve. While fireworks are a fantastic spectacle, Kayla is looking forward to the food in Las Vegas the most.

The streets of Las Vegas are lined with restaurants, many of which Kayla is eager to try out. However, her interests are sparked more towards a buffet-style restaurant called Wicked Spoon.

“[The Wicked Spoon is] super cool,” Kayla said, “because it has a bunch of different kinds of food that are more unique.”

[I’m looking forwards to] creating new memories with my family. Especially the ones that I don’t get to see very often, and just rejoicing with them and rekindling everything because I haven’t seen a lot of them in almost two years.

— Logan Verlinde

The holiday break is coming at the perfect time for Kayla, as the first semester comes to a close. Exams, studying, and stress levels are all on the horizon. Kayla views the holiday break as a time to relax and reset for the upcoming semester.

Nevertheless, Kayla, as a freshman trying her best to be as involved as possible, sees the New Year as the perfect opportunity to find where she belongs and truly thrive in high school.

“I really strive to be more involved in school and sports to get to know more people and try out whatever I can as a freshman,” Kayla explained, “ so maybe I’ll know what I like for the upcoming years.” 

Even still, with her big hopes and aspirations for the upcoming year, Kayla will soak up the final minutes of 2021 with the ones she loves the most.

“[My family and I will] hang out and watch TV programs for New Year’s,” Kayla said. “I’ll just spend time with the family.”  

Senior Bella Long, like Kayla, will also be traveling with her family this holiday break. However, instead of flying across the country, she will be traversing across the state to a ski resort in Petoskey, Michigan.

Bella and her family go on ski trips every year during winter break where they rent a cottage with their family-friends near a ski resort. While they normally head to Crystal Mountain, this year, her family decided to switch it up and try something new.

Since Bella and her family are skiing all day, they are sometimes too tired to stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop on TV. Instead, they have concocted a creative, alternate way to celebrate the new year.

“We have these light-up globes,” Bella explained, “and there’s a balcony that goes over the living room that helps you get to the rooms. We always tie [the globes] to a string and then drop it so that we don’t have to stay up till midnight; it’s kind of funny.”

Whether it’s hanging out with old Polish ladies, having fun in Las Vegas, or skiing in a mountain, for many, the New Year’s break will simply be a time to relax and rejuvenate.

“I’m looking forward to not having to stress about school and just having some free time and being able to get outside,” Bella said. “I feel like I’ve been really busy, so that’d be nice.”