Even COVID-19 isn’t going to stop Riley Koehler from enjoying her first year at FHC


For most students, they stay in one spot for the entirety of their academic career and form unforgettable bonds, but not sophomore Riley Koehler. She has had the opportunity to form these life-long friendships twice and is using the latest move as a chance to reconnect with old friends.

“The move has affected my social life in South Carolina because I will only be able to see my friends a few times a year,” Riley said. “Some of my friends that I knew before I left still kept in touch with me [and we] are getting close again.”

The Koehler family moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan to the small town of Chapin, South Carolina during the summer of 2016. After almost four years down south they moved back up to Michigan in May of this year.

Riley, on top of moving, has been dealing with the added struggle of COVID like every other part of the student body. Having to wear a mask, only going to school in person two days out of a five day week, and adjusting to a new school has been tougher than it seemed at first but Riley is trying her best to, as history teacher Brad Anderson always says, “improvise, adapt, and overcome.”

“It has been crazy and harder than I thought it would be,” Riley said, “mostly because of the masks and not really having the ability to talk to everyone.”

But Riley is not gonna let COVID stop her from finding the positives here at FHC. And despite the inconveniences this school year brings, she is looking forward to making the most of her sophomore year.

Besides making memories this school year, Riley also plans on getting to know the smiling faces of the teachers here at FHC.

“Something that stood out to me is that the teachers are really patient,” Riley said. “[They] really like working with you [on] everything.”

On top of looking forward to a fun-filled year, Riley is also looking forward to “making new friends and playing softball”: a favorite pastime of her’s that she plans on continuing here in Grand Rapids.

While moving affected her social life greatly, it also impacted the sport she cares for deeply. And like any change, it takes a little time to get your bearings, get use yo new things, and figure out what is going on.

“Moving affected softball because there were not as many practices,” Riley said. “There is going to be different teams, practices, and methods than my old coach so I am going to have to learn them.”

She has been playing softball for five years and currently plays on a travel team out in Lowell.

Some of my friends that I knew before I left still kept in touch with me [and we] are getting close again”

Learning new practice schedules and meeting new teammates can be difficult, especially when you have been playing softball for as long as Riley and are starting at a new school, but she is remaining optimistic about her favorite pastime.

With threats of limitations to her softball season this year due to COVID, Riley still manages to enjoy the sport she loves.

“I like playing because it is a team sport,” Riley said. “It allows me to make more friends while still exercising.”

Between softball and a new school, Riley has her hands full most days. She balances practices, games, school work, and family time all while adjusting to a move and a new school and she still manages to see the positive in these uncertain circumstances.

Riley isn’t gonna let anything stop her from focusing on the positives of moving to FHC, especially not COVID.

And all in all, she’d give her high school experience pretty high Yelp reviews in terms of how much she likes it here so far.

“Overall, FHC sounds like a pretty good school with pretty good people,” Riley said.