Sydney Kushak has overcome many obstacles and gained many opportunities from high school


Whether it be hitting the slopes or jumping in the pool, freshman Sydney Kushak is always active by excelling in swimming, water polo, and skiing.

Ever since a young age, Sydney has been involved in swimming. Around the age of 4, Sydney’s parents signed her up for swimming. Immediately, she fell in love with the sport and has been involved ever since, competitively and for fun.

However, Sydney hit a small bump in the road upon entering high school. Before she could begin her high school swim season, she developed a shoulder injury. After having surgery in the summer to correct her shoulder over-usage issue, she was unable to swim this season. Nevertheless, Sydney did not let this stop her from being involved with the team. This year, Sydney stayed connected with the team by taking on the role of team manager. While it was strange to not be swimming, Sydney had a great amount of support behind her.

“Everyone [on the team] was so nice,” Sydney said. “They were like, “It’s okay; it’ll get better.a��”

It may have been difficult to sit out a season due to an injury, but Sydney kept a positive attitude.

“When I wasn’t in the water, it kind of made me sad to watch the swim team at conference,” Sydney said. “I just [thought], “It’ll be me next year.a��”

Aside from having injury-related obstacles, high school has proved to be an interesting transition for Sydney. The expectations of middle school differ greatly from those of high school, which has been a challenge for her. She has found that high school requires a more intense work ethic than middle school.

“You have to balance everything,” Sydney said. “[You have] to keep track of all your work.”

While juggling school work and extracurriculars may be difficult, Sydney has enjoyed the countless new opportunities that high school has to offer, like participating in the homecoming activities of float building and lip sync.

Some other aspects of high school that Sydney enjoys are freedom with her schedule, interesting school life, and, most importantly, sports. Sports offer students so many outlets to support teammates and connect as a class, and Sydney has especially liked participating in the student section. In addition, because of her deep interest in sports and love for team bonding (as seen in her involvement on the swim team), Sydney decided to join the ski team.

I wanted to have a sport every season”

— Sydney Kushak

“I wanted to have a sport every season,” Sydney said. “I have friends on ski team [and that also help to convince me to join.]”

Although she has skied for pleasure before, she has never raced in competitions before, and this year will be her first year of competitive ski. Gradually, her anticipation and excitement for the season have grown as she trains and learns more about the program.

Once the ski season comes to a close, Sydney is planning to join the water polo team as well to fulfill her dream of doing a sport in every season. While water polo is another new sport for her, she has already fallen in love with it.

“To me, [the aggression in the sport] is fun,” Sydney said. “Out of the water, you can be best friends with someone, but in the water, it’s all aggressive.”

Throughout her years of high school, Sydney hopes to continue her participation in water polo, swimming, and skiing. Although these sports act as a physical outlet for her, sports have also given her other benefits. Sports have given Sydney a family that she couldn’t find anywhere else, and for that, she is forever grateful. This team family has eased her transition into high school and made high school a way more enjoyable experience so far. In terms of the future, Sydney knows that her sports family will create many lasting friendships and memories throughout her next four years.

“It’s fun to have a different family,” Sydney said. “Walking through the hallways my first couple days of school [would’ve been hard, but] instead of knowing no one, I knew the whole swim team [family].”