Four Year of Disconnect Coming Together

Kate Kovachevich, Staff Writer

Freshman year.

14 years old, I set my alarm for 6:27am. I would get dressed, neatly in jeans and a tank top with a cardigan, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and set off in the brisk morning air for the bus stop. I would sit on the bus with my headphones in, listening to Taylor Swift and think about all the possible heart breaks I could have… right after that algebra test, health class, and gym period. I’d rush off to volleyball practice after school and follow with homework. I wondered if this was all high school was cracked up to be.

Sophomore year.

15 years old, driver’s permit in hand, I was ready to conquer FHC. I set my alarm for 5:50am, and would drive (with my mom in the passenger seat), to zero hour chemistry. I packed my schedule with too many classes and my heart with my first teenage love. I was ambitious and happy, wondering if I was finally living up the good that high school had to offer.

Junior year.

I set my alarm for 7am. I would take the minimum amount of classes needed, leaving after lunch, and go to my college classes in the afternoon. I started to drift away from the sense of normalcy I developed sophomore year and began to develop my personal sense of normalcy. I was not content with what high school had to offer.

Senior year.

Finally.

I set my alarm for 9am, enjoying being able to sleep in and being able to leave at noon- barely able to connect with my peers. Throughout the first semester, at noon, I would rush downtown to my biology class, political science lecture, humanities lecture, and bio lab on Mondays and Wednesdays. I swiped my GRCC Raidercard in the parking ramp and walked to class in the same flow as the other college students, realizing I felt more at home in this sea of strangers than I did with the people I had gone to school with since kindergarten.

Second semester, my schedule changed and suddenly I was mandated to take an elective- and I did. But now I had to learn how to high school again. Keeping to yourself wasn’t enough: you had to be funny, smart, social, talkative. All the time. My discontent was at an all-time high, only marred by the nostalgia that began creeping in, that little voice in the back of my head that was strangely comforting.

“It’s ok, Kate. This will be the last semester you will have to be here.”

“Look, just one more quarter left. You can do this!”

“Just one more week.”

“Just one more day.”

“Just one more exam.”

As the clock ticks on and the leaves now bloom in the springtime sunshine (save for that snow we had the morning after prom), I realize how all my aspirations will be one step closer to becoming tangible. It’s like high school is a time where you’re encouraged to make plans and think for the future, but they never actually happen. But with my graduation cap and gown hanging on my closet door, ready to be worn across the stage proudly, I begin to think about what is about to follow.

Summer classes, move-in, an education at a university, internships, volunteer jobs, study abroad trips, and more. All to happen in the amount of time that it took to complete my education at Forest Hills Central.

Going to FHC made me extremely grateful for the teachers I had, the ones that exhibit passion in teaching disinterested students. So to the following teachers, thank you.

Mrs. Lipke, thank you for helping me understand a subject that doesn’t sit well with me. There’s a reason why I’ll be a French/International Relations major and not mathematics, but you cleared up confusion and invested your time in your student’s mental well-being and preparation.

Mr. Labenz, thank you for treating your students like your children. For striving for our success and understanding that the road to success isn’t linear (sorry for not studying well-enough and not passing the APUSH exam, I always feel like I’ve let you down).

Ms. Scobell, thanks for being the most challenging teacher I’ve had. You set high standards for your students, ones that became the ones off of which I now set my own.

Madame VanHouten, thank you for being a second mom to me and for giving me the gift of another world.

Mrs. Dolce, thank you for making me read and analyze literature I normally would not have. Although I really disliked some of the books we read, you made me think in a new way, made my mind more flexible.

Mr. George, thank you for always making me feel like you have faith in me.

And Mr. McClees, thank you for teaching me about a subject that I can translate into a career. Thank you for pushing my limits and comfort zone.

Catch you later, FHC.