Tristan Kerr reflects on breaking out of the FHC bubble and looks to his future at Ferris


Millions have come before him. Most have made the switch from high school to the real world quite well. But that doesn’t keep senior Tristan Kerr from feeling a crazy mix of emotions as the time to leave the only place he’s known and embark on a new adventure out into life rapidly approaches.

“It’s exciting that we’re almost done and going to college,” Tristan said, “but it’s also weird thinking that I’ll only see my buddies a couple of times after the summer.”

Even with undercurrents of nervousness that come with the knowledge that you’re leaving everything, Tristan is excited to get out of high school and begin exercising his new independence.

“I’m not a big fan of high school,” Tristan said, “but I’m gonna miss it, just being with my friends every single day of the week. I’m excited to move away and be on my own for a little bit. I think being independent and finally getting to feel what that’s like [will be the best part]. Having your own rules and do everything on your own. It’s exciting but also scary.”

Picking the right school is a struggle for every student but even more so for student-athletes who are often being pulled in many directions and have to choose where they would like to play, what sport they would like to play, and even whether or not it’s something they want to continue doing. Tristan got recruited for soccer, but the schools were private and out of his price range. Tristan’s solution was to go to a school that had the programs he wanted academically and continue running track instead of playing soccer.

“I got recruited for soccer, but the schools I got recruited too were way too expensive,” Tristan said. “They’re all like private schools. Track at Ferris is really good, and it could help pay for college. But track’s just always been really fun. I picked it up my sophomore year just to stay in shape for soccer. I fell in love with it; it’s so much fun.”

Academically, Ferris is a good fit for Tristan because of its impressive architectural program, which had always been a front-runner in the decision of what he wanted to study. Eventually, it won out over engineering.

“I’ve always loved drawing houses and stuff,” Tristan said. “I was trying to decide between engineering because I love working on cars to, buy architectures just a lot of fun. [I really enjoy] designing stuff.”

For Tristan, track ended up not only being a good way to keep him in shape and in a sport he loves but also in getting him his second job through his track coach, Joel Harner.

“I worked at Gordon foods my sophomore year through junior year to the summer,” Tristan said. “This whole past summer, I worked for my track coach and his construction business. I worked up at the new Vitales and helped build that all summer. I don’t have any more work to do for them, so I got a job at the roadhouse. Then I start up construction again during the spring. When I worked for my track coach, I just knocked down walls and stuff, and it was really fun.”

Looking back over his years at FHC, Tristan wishes he would have seen how big the world is outside of the FHC bubble.

“I wish I would have gotten out of the clique of Forest Hills earlier,” Tristan said. “I ventured out after sophomore year because I didn’t like how everyone was in their own little cliques. Now, I’m out of it, and there is no drama or anything in my life anymore; I really like that.”

He remembers what it was like as a sophomore slowly finding that there was a life out there for him without as much drama and is happy he was able to make that switch. His only regret is that he didn’t switch to a drama-free life sooner.

“I played football freshman and sophomore year [with] all my buddies, and it was just really drama-filled,” Tristan said. “So after sophomore year football season, I left that, and I felt so much more free to do whatever I want. I’m not pressured into making decisions that I don’t want to do. I wish I would have gotten out of the bubble earlier on in high school.”

As a senior, he knows his time left at Central is diminishing, but he doesn’t want to parts ways with FHC without leaving a little bit of wisdom behind.

“Don’t be afraid to change friend groups if you’re stuck in one,” Tristan said. “Just do what makes you happy, and not what other people think you should be doing with them. Make your own decisions.”