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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

With a world of creativity at her finger tips, Addy Cousins is ready for the next chapter

Chris Summers
Addy Cousins looks to take all of her great memories from the past four years and turn them into many more in the future.

Senior Addy Cousins has always been living in her own mind.

Not in a self-doubtful or insecure way, but in a non-stop imaginative world she created in her mind. Most kids have imaginary friends, but for Addy, her imagination and different impressions and voices were enough to create a make-believe world, a make-believe world that eventually found its way onto paper. 

Having a vivid imagination makes everything more fun as a kid. Words on a page turn into scenes out of a movie and stories told to friends and family become the entertainment at sleepovers and hangouts. Addy’s imagination was so vivid, however, that it caused her to run herself over with a golf cart.

“My grandpa has a lot of property up in White Cloud, and I would drive the golf cart around, and I’d be in my own little world because I was around 12,” Addy said. “I’d just make up stories, and I’d be different characters, and I wasn’t paying attention, and I ran into a tree and rolled off of the golf cart, and my leg was somehow still on the gas pedal, but my other leg was underneath it. So I think I’m the only person who has managed to run themself over with a golf cart.”

Making up characters and stories in her head has always been a common occurrence for Addy, and these scenarios of make-believe in her mind materialized when Addy discovered her love and passion for writing. 

As many do, Addy began with rudimentary stories, and over the past few years, she’s grown tremendously as both a writer and a person. So many interests and passions are forged through friendships, and Addy was surrounded by friends who encouraged her hobby and led her to this point. 

“I liked to make up stories, and I’d like to be creative and act out the stories that were in my head as a kid,” Addy said. “We had this little place in my backyard, and I’d always talk to myself there. Then, once I could write, I started writing the stories that I made up in my head to play as a game. My friends also liked writing, and if we had a sleepover, my one friend, [senior] Hannah Levering, and I would take turns going back and forth writing down a story, and we would just add different parts to it until it was pretty long. I still have the journal, and it’s so funny to go back and read what we were writing.”

Leaving middle school and entering high school during the coronavirus and lockdown, Addy decided that joining Writing for Publication was the perfect fit for continuing her adulation of storytelling. But her expectations for what the class would be like and the reality of it were vastly different. Her expectation of a free-reign creative writing class did not match the journalistic vision of the class. Despite her expectations, however, she’s grown to love the class over the last four years, and a large aspect of it is how much freedom she has over what she’s writing and how she’s grown through story variety.

“I didn’t fully understand what [the class] was freshman year,” Addy said. “I thought I’d be able to write what I wanted, and I thought I’d be able to write more column-type stories because I was obsessed with fantasy. I still had fantasy mixed into my stories, and I didn’t fully understand what I was doing. Now, I appreciate the class so much more because I’m taking a creative writing class and a journalistic class in a way, and I’ll always pick The Central Trend over anything else.”

The differences in her expectations and her struggles in the class freshman year almost made her quit, but because of the great community and environment of the class, she decided to stick around. COVID drastically changed everyone’s school experience, and given it was Addy’s first year in high school in a new, unfamiliar environment, it only added to the stress.

But if it weren’t for COVID, she likely wouldn’t have formed as strong of a bond with the rest of the class and might have quit after her first year. Even if she didn’t realize it, all of the decisions and outside factors of her past four years here have dramatically changed and shaped her time here.

“The first year was pretty rough because it was my COVID hybrid year in freshman year,” Addy said. “It was a lot of changes, and honestly, I wasn’t great at writing at first, so it was a pretty big struggle. So, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stick with it. But [Seniors] Eva and Kiera pushed me a lot, and they were such great friends to me that I wanted to continue just for them. And then, after sophomore year, I knew that I loved it, and I wanted to stick with it.”

TCT has always stood out from most regular classrooms because of the generally fun environment where everyone gets along and supports each other. Addy has countless unforgettable memories with everyone on the staff now and in past years. 

Although it wasn’t what she expected it to be, the class majorly shaped her high school experience, and she wouldn’t be the same without it. Outside of the writing and class portion of TCT is the humorous and encouraging environment that left her with lots of stories to share.

“One time, [TCT alumni] Kelsey Dantuma and [TCT teacher] Mr. George were doing an ab workout together,” Addy said, “and then they got the whole class incorporated into their ab workout; it was right before spring break, and I think I have the video of Mr. George doing crunches in the middle of the room. There are a lot of times when the whole class just gets together to tell funny stories and compare stories, and we all laugh together.”

People often think of school and individual classes in a way that makes school more boring, and when they forget about the fun aspects of classes and the environment and people rather than just the workload, it leads to a lot more room to actually enjoy the class. If it weren’t for the community in TCT, Addy never would’ve rejoined, and although the work was difficult, the payoff and difference throughout her past four years of writing are astonishing.

“It’s such a great community, and people should definitely join to get the community aspect of it,” Addy said. “I like the growth as a person and as a writer; I’ve experienced it from being in TCT, which is crazy. I go back and read some of my stuff from freshman year and then compare it to what I write now, and it’s crazy. I actually have to unpublish some of my stuff from freshman year because it’s just so embarrassingly bad. I wrote one story about my different obsessions, and that was the first ever story that I published. I hate it, and now it’s hidden, so no one else can see it.”

I like the growth as a person and as a writer; I’ve experienced it from being in TCT, which is crazy.

— Addy Cousins

Not only has Addy experienced the class as a writer, but she was also the podcast manager and director for a year when she and alumni Lauren Brace ran The Central Scoop. The podcast offered her an alternative route for journalism and a new way to express herself, which inspired her to create her own podcast and share her thoughts. 

Every part of the class has led her to discover more about herself, her interests, and what she wants to do with her life. So much of this discovery stems from the people in the class. This is why she inevitably handed over the podcast; the time missed in class was so invaluable to her.

“The podcast was really fun,” Addy said. “I got to do it with Lauren Brace, and she’s such a wonderful person. It was kind of annoying because I wouldn’t be in class as much, so I didn’t get the same class atmosphere that I’d gotten this year and sophomore year. But I still really enjoyed it, and being able to express journalism in another form was super cool. I also feel like that grew my ability to talk to people and connect with people a lot. And then I actually started my own podcast last year. I was doing two podcasts, and that was really cool. My parents were super supportive and helped me set it up in my dad’s office. It was just me talking. It wasn’t very entertaining, but I really loved just talking and getting to tell my stories.”

Coming into high school, everyone is worried about where they’re going to fit in or what they’ll do with their life. Everyone eventually finds their place and where they belong, and for Addy, this place was room 139, where she always felt at home. 

Every story written, every Starbucks and library meeting, every conversation with friends crying from laughter, and every person in TCT have drastically shaped and molded Addy’s high school experience, and as she leaves with countless memories to look back on, she wouldn’t change a thing.

“I’m just really thankful that I got to experience TCT all four years and the community in the classroom with everyone, including Mr. George,” Addy said. “He is such a great teacher; that room is a safe place at school, and I’m so glad I had that.”

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About the Contributor
Addie Woltil
Addie Woltil, Copy Editor
Addie Woltil is a sophomore entering her second year writing for The Central Trend. She is excited about another year of writing on staff and more to come. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the mall, and watching overrated reality TV shows. She loves ending her day in room 139 and can't wait for what's next. Favorite fruit: Mango Favorite TV show: How I Met Your Mother Favorite day of the year: July 24th

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