Sam Williams leads a versatile life through adapting to change quickly


It is a popular argument that a person’s high school years are some of the most influential and valuable years of their life due to the rapid change it evokes in their development.

Senior Sam Williams has definitely experienced rapid change in his high school years: he completed freshman year at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School, sophomore year at a high school in Florida, junior year through online high school, and is in the midst of his senior year at FHC.

Sam has moved a myriad of times throughout his life, his first move occurring when he was just seven. Sam was born in Florida, moved to Michigan, moved to Africa, moved back to Michigan, moved back to Florida, then finally back to Michigan again during his junior year of high school. Each time Sam has resided in Michigan he attended different schools; his first was an international school before his dad’s work led him and his family to Africa.

“It wasn’t such a big deal when I was seven,” Sam said. “And then, that kind of became my whole life: moving around. So, adapting came pretty easily.”  

Although Sam was young when he lived in Africa, he still remembers key aspects of life there and has come to realize the significance of the opportunity to live in such a unique place.

“[Africa is] very different for sure,” Sam said. “When I first arrived there, guys with tractors were coming out, and there were animals running across the runway. So, I was kind of like, ‘Oh, alright.’ But then again, I was pretty young, so I didn’t really comprehend until years later that it was pretty cool that I lived there.”

And then, that kind of became my whole life: moving around.”

Wanting to distance himself from negative experiences at Catholic Central, Sam decided that enrolling at FHC seemed to be a satisfactory solution. As for the environment of FHC, Sam did not find it challenging to encounter welcoming friends and teachers. Likewise, he did not find the overall experience of being a new student his senior year frightening; however, he did experience some first-day jitters.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” Sam said. “I’d never gone to this school before. But, I had a different mindset from when I was a freshman. I was nervous, but I wasn’t having a mental breakdown. There was a lot of drama at CC, so that’s why I chose not to go back there— because I didn’t want to get involved in all of that stuff.”

Sam joined chorale at FHC after participating in the symphony choir that choir teacher Sean Ivory teaches outside of school. Sam has discovered friendships through fellow chorale members and has enjoyed his time as a member of chorale.

“The first day I got here, I had to choose all of the classes, and I was like, ‘Choir? Okay, that sounds fun,’ ” Sam said. “Seeing [friends] in there was fun, and I actually saw a lot of people in there that I didn’t think went to this school. So, that was cool.”  

Next year, Sam has determined that he will return to Florida to attend Florida Atlantic University. Sam is drawn to the university because his brother attended it, and his uncle is a professor there. Overall, he believes that it would be a fitting school for him since it is located close to where he was born.

As Sam prepares to embark on another journey and adapt to further change in college, he is aware of the lessons that moving has allowed him to obtain and chooses to focus on the positive.

“Don’t ever settle,” Sam said. “Most of the times when we moved, that kind of came out of nowhere. So, I’ve never been able to settle down and stick to something. I just deal with it, and I’m not mad.”