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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

The contents of my camera roll, taking it “bird by bird”

Autumn VanSolkema
A collage of some of my many favorite memories of this past year.

Here I am, lying on my bed. My phone is in hand, and my favorite app, my camera roll, is open in front of me.

I move my fingers across the screen, and the moments fly by. I pause, stopping on a picture from back in August. I see myself and Elle at the first game of the cheer season; I am beaming with excitement because I cherish this season. We are in our matching green uniforms and blue Hawaiian leis are hanging around our necks to match the game’s theme. I feel a hint of sadness; I miss that team. This was also the first football game where my favorite photographer and football fanatic was on the sidelines. Because of football season, I became close with her, and now she is someone I will forever be grateful for.

Moving past the warm summer month of August, I scroll through the month of September, and a variety of memories pop back into my head as pictures go by. I glance at countless photos of Friday night football; football season is one of the highlights of every year. There are pictures of me with paint on my legs, light-up cowboy hats, pink everything, and football jerseys. I find a picture of the tailgate and I instantly think back to the warmth and the smell of all the food trucks lining the parking lot as copious amounts of kids ran around the lower bowl.

I scroll farther, seeing time flash before my eyes. The football season continues as the weather cools down, and it’s suddenly already October. I look at a photo of Elle and I’s 4th-grade cheer team. Almost every Saturday morning, we would drive and grab a hashbrown and a vanilla iced coffee at McDonald’s and head to a school football field to coach our youth cheer team. I loved coaching my own team, and I especially loved that I got to do it with one of my best friends.

As I browse more pictures, I notice my birthday. I finally threw the Mamma Mia party I had been waiting to throw til I turned 17. I was finally the dancing queen. A little past that, I find Juliana and I holding our P.R.O shields from the Age of Empires game; thoughts of Brad Anderson chasing us through the woods instantly bring a smile to my face. Going out into the woods and pretending to run an empire was such an enjoyable few weeks that really were a highlight of my year.

Continuing further down the screen, I see my outfits changing from shorts to pants and t-shirts to sweatshirts and sweaters, and it’s November. I find photos from a retreat I went on with my youth group, and I instantly am reminded of the moment I received a text that our football team was going back to Ford Field again. I was jumping up and down, ecstatic that I would have the opportunity to re-experience the event. 

Cheering there was enjoyable in itself, but the fact that we won made it even better. It was truly a day I will never forget. The laughs, the tension of the game, and the feeling of cheering in a huge stadium were incredible. 

Deciding to move on, I scroll into December. 

A little bit into the pictures, I find the photo of the McKenna movie that Juliana and I had bought for Ms. Belsito and every time I see it, it makes me laugh. We rambled to her for a solid 20 minutes about how much we loved this movie when we were kids, and we thought it was a great idea to get it for her for Christmas. I remember that, on break, we watched the movie again, and we felt bad about giving it to her because the movie was actually horrible. But it’s a memory that never fails to make me happy. I appreciate Ms. Belsito for always putting up with our shenanigans, and having her as a teacher will always be a gift.

I close my eyes and just think about how truly memorable this last year has been and I think about the fact that I only have one more year left

I scroll past winter break and January and enter into the month of February. I graze past more and more photos until I see a picture of my PT 1 group. I am reminded of how much I loved my AP Seminar class. I have a new pair of friends, and without that class, we would not all be together. There have been countless times when I was laughing so hard my back hurt, seriously. I learned the lesson of taking it “bird by bird,” in which I just need to take things one at a time. Ms. Beckett and Mr. Labenz truly made that class even better than it already was. I remember many times when the pair of them would come over and answer all of my ridiculous questions with a friendly and kind attitude. I cherish that class and the PT1 group.

As I move on from February, I head into the time of the year that I always look forward to, which is the musical. It’s March, and rehearsals for the musical are increasing in intensity. I find the photos of the Spelling Bee musical and freeze on a picture of all of us wearing our sparkly top hats for Magic Foot, which was definitely my favorite number. I look at plenty of pictures and wish I could go back and do it all one more time. I always cherish that time of the year. 

Once we had taken our final bows, it was almost April. I make it to the thousands of pictures Juliana and I took on our trip down to Texas, from wandering the city of Houston and going to In-N-Out for the first time to walking across the beach in Galveston and witnessing a catfight at 1:30 AM. I see the picture of a 200-foot swing that I was so scared to ride but eventually decided to. 

I find photos of the moon from past spring break. I am reminded of the day of the eclipse. Driving home with Elle while we were afraid to look at any reflection of the sun because we thought we would go blind always makes me laugh. The next picture is us staring up at the sky with our glasses on, and we look so fascinated by it. It was a moment with Elle that I am grateful I got to have with her.

I can see that it’s getting warmer, and  I’m almost to the present day. I find pictures of the day of the senior recognition ceremony. I remember that was the day I finally had to say goodbye to the seniors I wasn’t ready to let go of. I cried a lot, but I knew that they had to move on. I’m forever grateful for all the time I spent with them this year.

Moving forward, I find the day of my AP Seminar exam. I see the picture of Elle, Victoria, and me out at Coney Island before the test. The series of photos showed us at the park while we rollerbladed, longboarded, and scootered. That whole day was one of my favorites of the school year, and I loved going out with two friends and having a morning where we could relax and just enjoy ourselves.

I am almost to the present. I make one final stop at the time Rowan and I brought our guitars to the sunset viewing area on her birthday. I see a picture of us gazing at the sky; the feeling of looking at the sunset with live music playing in my ears is all too surreal.

And now, here we are. It is basically June, and this school year is ending. I finally reach the end of my camera roll and turn off the phone. I place it beside me and stare at my ceiling. I close my eyes and just think about how truly memorable this last year has been, and I think about the fact that I only have one more year left. One more year with my favorite friends, teachers, and this school. I will have the “lasts” that all seniors have.

While this year is ending, it is also beginning. I will now be in the grade that I had long anticipated since I was a freshman. I’m excited, but I’m scared for what comes after.

Because the time has come, I am the senior. But for now, I say goodbye to the year I will cherish and reminisce fondly on. So, goodbye, junior year. You will forever be in my favorites album.

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About the Contributor
Autumn VanSolkema
Autumn VanSolkema, Staff 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

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    Elle ManningMay 31, 2024 at 5:05 pm


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      Autumn VanSolkemaMay 31, 2024 at 7:53 pm