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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2023: Autumn VanSolkema


To Elle Manning, for being the sister I never had

I have known you for ten years at this point, and I am beyond thankful that little Elle moved across the street from little me way back in 2013. I have so many things I could write about you because we have so much history and amazing memories together. You and I both being only children was a gift because you and I were able to find each other and think of one another as sisters. Anytime we go on vacation is such a treat. From Branson, where we witnessed the weirdest dinner show ever, to Macinac where we never stopped biking. Without you, COVID would have been miserable. I will never forget how truly blessed I was that I was able to 

quarantine with you. All of those silly videos we made together will live in my head forever. The Gertrude Mcfuzz morning show, Aunt Petunia’s sweater, and the Orange Court Review, among many others. We are at the point where we have seen Full Out enough to recite basically the whole movie and adding our commentary as we get older makes it that much more special. Ariana Berlin still hasn’t responded to our DM from however many months ago. I have no idea how many hours we spent on FaceTime playing JustDance but it was a lot, we were definitely the best dancers on the street. Going through all six seasons of Glee with you is one of my happiest memories. We watched so much of it on the Branson trip that it was actually concerning and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love all the days when you would come over and we would sit on our designated sides of the couch with our “assigned” blankets, turn on Glee, and I would always be dancing to the songs and you would be in your caterpillar pose with the blanket. Not doing the levels but running around the cities in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and LEGO City playing house and driving around is something I will never forget. I loved getting our Saturday morning coffee and hashbrowns before our youth cheer game and I hope we can do that again next year. I love living my life knowing that you are right across the street from me, and growing up alongside you has been such a blessing. I love you beyond words, and let me know the next time we’re watching Full Out.

To Lauren, for being the best advice-giver ever

Thank you for befriending someone six years younger than you. I know you have all your friends your age, but I’m so thankful that you still take time to hang out with me. Though we are not related by blood, I have thought of you as my sister since the first year I met you. I can come to you for anything and you always give me such good advice. I love belting songs, especially Mamma Mia and Waitress, and dancing with you. When you come over, I can tell you anything. I can vent to you and you don’t judge at all; you hug me, tell me everything will be okay, and help me through it. You are an amazing person, Lauren, you are beyond compassionate and you are so sweet and loving with everyone you meet. Thank you for being such a kind, loving, and constant person in my life. I’m so thankful for the last four and a half years I have spent with you, and grateful for so many more. I love you, and I’m forever appreciative of my Donna Sheridan. 

To Juliana Lieuwen, for collecting all the Squishmallows in the world with me

You and I couldn’t have met at a more perfect time. We both were struggling friend-wise and we found each other and became one another’s new best friend. The last two years with you have been so enjoyable and I’m so thankful for all the memories we’ve had over the years. From doing the musicals with you, to almost poisoning ourselves with that stupid E6000 making those shields. Hanging with Maggie and you is such a joy, I loved it when we went to the sunset viewing area and watched Purple Hearts in the back of her car. I can’t express to you how much I love buying those Doorables with you, even though we do absolutely nothing with them, but get so excited when we open them. Our beyond-useless Target runs are my absolute favorite. I love running straight to the toy aisle to stare at the

Squishmallows we know that we can’t buy, and the Doorables we shouldn’t buy but spend way too much money on anyway. Our study sessions at the library and smuggling a full-on pizza into the library that random day in June. The amount of hours we spent playing Animal Jam freshmen year is such a great memory, let me know the next time you want to do the happy tiger dance.

To Rowan Szpieg, for reigniting my love for the guitar 

I met and befriended you early in 7th grade and I’ve loved every moment since. Lunch days with you and Mrs. Terry were so fun until they got shut down during COVID. Rowan, thank you for re-introducing me to an instrument I lost interest in two years ago. I have loved playing the guitar at the airport viewing area, your backyard, or the trampoline. All the hours I spent with you and your family this summer are moments I will forever cherish. One day we have to open Topsy Turvy :). I’m so glad I got close again with you, especially during Inspires. I gained a lot from that experience, and you were part of it. You have a true gift with words, you can speak them and write them in a way I never could. I can’t express to you how grateful I am that you came over and picked up my guitar because when you did that you reminded me of how much I loved it. Thank you for being willing to teach me and truly embrace the instrument. Could I BE any more grateful that you’re in my life!

To Alayna Gschwind, for being so caring and always checking on me 

I only started to get close to you this year, but it has been amazing to be your friend. I love belting Six with you and laughing about the most random things in choir. You are one of the most supportive and comforting people I know, and I’m so grateful to know that I can come to you whenever I need anything and you will always be right there to support me. Your laugh is so contagious and you are a joy to be around, thank you for making this year so much better. “No Way” could I get through this school year without you, and I’m going to miss you so so so much next year Lain. You mean so much to me, and I’m so grateful to have you.

To Liv Oorbeck, for being such an inspiration to me and being so good at everything you do

Along with Alayna, I have only started being your friend this year, but I’m so grateful I am. You are so fun to be around and you make football games a million times better. Every time I got to the games and walked on the sideline, my first thought was always “I hope Liv is here!” You have so much talent and skill, the photos you take are outstanding and I can’t even comprehend how you can fly a plane, that is beyond impressive. You have always been an inspiration to me, I was inspired by you to try makeup, was I good at it, no, but you still inspired me. I love your laugh so much and I smile every time I hear it. You are such an infectious person to be around, you radiate kindness and compassion. I will cherish this final year with you, and I’m going to miss you so much once you graduate. I love you so much Liv, thank you for being in my life. 

To the best Writing For Publication class ever

Lucy Yoder for being such a sweet person. I love having this class with you always turning around to chat during the class and ranking books on a food scale. To Micah McClartly, Addie McDowell, and Kathryn Campell, thank you for being such a great trio of freshmen. I love talking and laughing with you three and I enjoy all the time I get to spend with you three. You are all such amazing writers and I love you all and conversing all about “Jeffery”.

Miss Belsito, for being such an amazing teacher

Thank you for making a class about rocks so fun. I love going to fourth hour every day because I get to see and talk with you. You are so sweet and such a fun person. That one day when Juliana and I stayed and we wouldn’t shut up about the McKenna movie was one of my favorite hours I’ve had at school. Thank you for making your class something I look forward to every day, do I like rocks all the time, no, but you make that class such a joy. I’m so grateful you’re my teacher this year, I look forward to the rest of the year. Also, you better watch that movie ;).

To my parents, for always supporting me

Thank you for supporting me in all that I do, you guys are so sweet and I’m so happy you are my parents. Thank you for letting me get a dog, truly. I love our adventure days and all the fun times we have together. Dad, thank you for being such a good cook, I love eating your delicious food. Mom, thank you for always doing my laundry and helping me whenever I need it. You two are amazing parents and I’m so thankful for you. Thank you for being so loving, I love giving you hugs. I love it when we go Bowling, have family movie nights, go out to Holland, and so much more. Let me know when you want to play JustDance or Smash. Thank you for all the fun memories we have together and I’m so excited for the many more in the future.

To Sunny, for being the happiest little ball of sunshine 

Thanks, little guy for being the best dog in the world. You are so sweet and I’m so grateful I got my dream dog. You are such a life enhancer and I appreciate how happy you make me each day. You always have a smile on your cute little face and I love coming home to each day. Love you Sunny puppers. 

To Ashley and Lauren, for being the best little cousins in the world

Thank you two for being such great cousins, I loved Skyping you two every day during COVID and spending countless hours playing Adopt Me. I love visiting you two and laughing together. You guys are so funny and sweet. I love singing Taylor Swift with you and I love our dance parties. Thank you for making me your second sister, I forever love you two. Aunt Stacey, you are truly an amazing aunt, you are so fun and I’m very very grateful you are in my life. I can’t wait to see you guys again, I love you so much.

To Ash, for being such a light in my life, and responding to your texts immediately

Thank you for being such a role model in my life. Every second I get to spend with you is a gift and I’m grateful for all of it. Seeing musicals with you is one of my favorite things in the world, it brings me such joy to see shows with the person who reignited and kept lit, my love for Broadway. One day, we’re going to New York together, and there is no avoiding it :). I can not express to you how much going to musicals with you means to me, but just know I cherish those nights. Your laugh is one of the most healing things, every time I hear it I instantly smile. Also, thank you for responding to your texts instantly. Whenever I need something I know you are always right there to help me. You’ve guided me and made me laugh through all your texts. All the retreats, mission trips, and Sundays are so joyful for me. I just love being with you, no matter what we’re doing. I’m so grateful for all the memories, laughs, and hugs we’ve shared over the years and I can’t wait for many more to come. I love you so much, and I want you to know that “It’s a beautiful day” when I get to spend time with you.

To Kim, for being such a kind soul

I’m so glad you are in my life. From mission my 8th grade year, to all the missions throughout my high school career, I have loved every second of them. You are so fun to know and you have been such a supporter in whatever I do, and I’m so thankful. You came out to football games to see me cheer, it was so nice to turn around and see you sitting in the crowd. Also, I am forever thankful that you gave up an entire night of sleep to help me when I was sick. Thank you, truly, for everything you have done for me, and for others.  I love spending time with you, and I love seeing you every Sunday; I’m so excited for the mission trip this year.

To my youth group, for making my Sunday mornings so joyful

I have loved all the memories, laughs, and people I have gained from this lovely group of people. Lexi, you are such a fun person to be around. I have grown up with you, and I have loved every retreat, Sunday, and random outings we have. Springhill with you every year is so much fun and I can’t wait for this year. You are such a sweet girl and I am so proud of you and all you have done so far. Lydia, you are such a beautiful dancer, and love that you have allowed me to choreograph alongside you even though I have nowhere near as much dance experience as you. I love going on retreats with you and Lexi. That day at Cedar Point was amazing and I was so happy you went with me even though you didn’t like rollercoasters. You are so kind and I’m so thankful you and Lex go to our church. Henry, you are so selfless and caring to everyone in this group. I love that you spent your own money on all the stuff for trunk or treat. You are a joy to have in this youth group, and one day I’m beating you in Mario Kart. Gibby, thank you for keeping me updated with our football team, both times I was on Fall Retreat. You are so fun to have in this group and I love leading preschool with you and Henry. Viv, my sweet Viv, I am so happy you decided to go on mission last summer because that trip brought you back into my life. I have loved hanging out with you again, I’ve missed you; from our art date in the park to the spooky car wash I never ended up going to. You are such a kind soul and I’m so appreciative you are back in my life. Evalyn, you are such a compassionate and caring person, you always rush to help anyone out whenever they need help. On mission you let me cry into you and you just held me. Thank you for being so kind and loving to all the people in this group. Katie, you are so talented and I’m so proud of all you have done. I have loved being at this church with you, from advent dancing to youth group and mission. You are so fun to be around and I love how your smile instantly lights up a room. Even though I’m 10 days older, I am going to miss you so much once you graduate and I still have one more year left. Ellie, though I just met you this year, it has been so fun to get to know you! I loved the Thursday lunch days and playing that fish game with you. Raya, you being a part of this group brings me so much joy. Any retreat with you is always a blast. Fall Retreat last year was so much fun, I loved making those blankets, doing the leg lifts, and everything else. You are so so sweet Raya. Matthew thank you for being like a little brother to me, I have adored watching you grow up. You are so sweet and smart, keep up all your algorithms. I love all of you so much, thank you for all that you do. See you on Sunday :).

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About the Contributor
Autumn VanSolkema, Junior Writer
Autumn is a junior entering her first year on The Central Trend. She loves a good romance novel, but loves her corgi more. If she is not belting out Taylor Swift songs, she is teaching herself new songs on the guitar or ukulele. You can find her cheering on the sidelines of football games or coaching her little fourth-grade cheer team. Autumn has grown up loving the theatre, being both on the stage and in the audience. She has performed in many shows and regularly begs her parents to take her to New York again to see more Broadway productions. Autumn is an avid photographer, with her camera roll being filled with 19k+ photos over the last two years. Her least favorite things in the world: Balloons and Styrofoam. Her favorite musicalsWaitress and Mamma Mia Number of surgeries she's had: 7 Her favorite condiments: Mayo and Ranch Favorite season: Just like her name, it's autumn

Comments (9)

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  • J

    Jeffrey BulumnaNov 21, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    mwah thank you for mentioning me mi amor

  • B

    Brenna EdginNov 21, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    (mi amor mwah mwah) love you girly pop

  • K

    Kathryn CampbellNov 21, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    “Autumn! I love this youa re awesoemist writer in ze world mwah me amor” -Jeffrey Bulumna

  • M

    Micah McClartyNov 21, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    mwah autumn you are such a joy poopoo

  • R

    Rowan SzpiegNov 21, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    mwah autumn sweet cutie patootie. my poopy baby

  • A

    Addie McDowellNov 21, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    mwah me amor <333

  • M

    Micah McClartyNov 21, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    wow autumn you are sweet sweetie

  • E

    ElleNov 20, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    love love love

  • O

    Olivia OorbeckNov 20, 2023 at 8:17 am

    Aww Autumn I adore you so much <3