With an early departure on May 3rd, many seniors find themselves reflecting on their pasts while getting fired up about their futures. The Class of 2021 has remained persistent through trials and tribulations; now, it’s their time to translate their Hawk Pride to a much larger world.
Join us in commemorating our senior staffs’ fondest memories as they look ahead to life after high school.
Julia Bileth plans on attending Central Michigan University next fall, where she hopes to “better [herself] as an actor and achieve [her] dreams through hard work and dedication.” Throughout her time in high school and on the Herald staff, she learned “how to work better with others on collaborative writings, and to how bond with my classmates.” Her fondest memories include “all the theatre seasons,” specifically the Addams Family show last year. “Additionally, the Disney trip my freshman year was one of my favorite memories,” she recalled fondly. She advises her fellow Hawks to “do what you want, and stop caring about others’ opinions. “You’re your own person, so have fun and enjoy your life!”
Although he’s “definitely waiting until the last possible second to decide,” Leo Eppinga pronounced that he will most likely find himself at Oberlin this fall; however, that’s not where he originally intended to go. “Freshman year, for some reason I thought I would do well in a large school. I know now that’s definitely not the case,” he admitted. In his future career, “the most important thing to [him] is that [he helps] people in their day-to-day lives.” He stated, “this could take the form of anything from being a therapist, to drafting professional emails for commission, to being a chef at a local restaurant.” While he’s not pursuing journalism, writing for the Hawk Herald taught him some valuable lessons about the nature of “real” writing. “In real life, you aren’t assigned to write about madness in Hamlet—you may have a topic, but it won’t be anywhere near as specific as pretty much any [high school] assignment.” Additionally, his time on the staff honed his reasoning skills. “I’ve had a lot of valuable practice at information-gathering that has really changed my approach to writing essays for the better,” he claimed. When asked what one of his most vibrant or favorite high school memories was, he responded in short, “Kristin Gora.” Leo mused that the biggest lesson he learned throughout high school was how to listen. “The only thing worth teaching is how to listen,” he said. “Learning is just another word for listening.”
James Rose plans on going to GRCC in the fall, “so [he] can save some money going into college.” James claimed that he has “two very different goals career-wise. I either want to become a primatologist or go into the computer science field.” In his time on the Hawl Herald staff, James “learned that writing about things I care about can actually be fun!” In his years to come, he will fondly remember “playing super smash bros in Mr. Visser’s room two years ago.” His biggest takeaway from his high school experience has been that “deadlines mean nothing to [him], unfortunately.”
This coming fall, Ryan will be a student at Michigan State within James Madison College. He aspires being elected to congress, governor of MI, and possibly POTUS. During his time with the Hawk Herald, Ryan “learned a little a bit more about all the different groups and activities going on in our school.” Ryan’s uncontended favorite memory at Eastern was “building a crossbow out of pencils and a rubber band [he] pilfered from Mr. Morley’s class, and firing pens into Mr. Visser’s ceiling.” After further reflection on his high school experience, Ryan advises high schoolers to “stay close with your friends—they often make or break your high school experience.”
Next year, Linsey Wozniak plans to take her unparalleled spunk to the University of Michigan. She dreams of chasing a career in which she can bring communities together. “I hope to inspire and invite people to fully do what they love and engage with people. I hope to love on people. I hope to fully chase my wildest dreams,” she stated. She proudly claimed that “the Hawk Herald [taught her] to fully expand [her] brain to write creatively. It pushed [her] to write words on my thoughts.” Her favorite memory at Eastern was when she and Mary Dziuba were “the first and last people on the Swirl dance floor, while out-dancing everyone there.” The mantra that has guided her through high school and will continue to guide her through this next chapter is to “always say yes to the spontaneous plan.”
Mia plans to attend Loyola University Chicago to study Advocacy and Social Change. “America has a lot of work to do in terms of social change and I’d love to help be a part of [it],” she proudly claims. “[Writing for the] Hawk Herald has helped me have a space where I can truly and freely express my thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Sometimes it can be hard to find a place where it would feel safe to do so, and I’m very lucky to have my wonderful journalism [class].” Additionally, Mia practiced her journalistic skills within the Broadcasting class. “Broadcasting [memories are some of the] fondest memories I’ve made in high school. It’s always the best part of my day, and always allowed me to have an area of calm in my day.” When it comes to advice, Mia urges underclassmen to stop overthinking. “Trust me,” she claims, “people like you more than you think they do.”
Anna Rapaport deferred her acceptance to DePaul University for now, and plans to attend Grand Rapids Community College in the fall. “I will be attending DePaul University in the following years to come,” she said. “I am not yet sure what I will be pursuing as a career, as many different paths spike interest in me. I hope to find a career that fulfills my love for fostering connections with others, and will to change the world.” In her two years on the Hawk Herald staff, Anna learned that “inspiration can come from anyone or anything. I learned how beautiful the world really is. When the boringness starts to creep in, it just means there’s something new waiting for you to explore.” Anna has brought her unparalleled joy to many aspects of Eastern—especially within the music department. “My favorite high school memory definitely has to be the holiday choir tour during my junior year,” Anna claims. “Choir always has been my favorite part of school, so getting to spend extra time with the choir always made my heart happy. Singing to people while you can see their faces light up with joy is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.” During her time at Eastern, Anna truly learned the importance of where she directs her positive energy. “In the long run, [high school] is such a small part of our lives that wasting it on things that don’t make you happy just seems merely stupid. Do not waste your time on things that don’t light you up with happiness!”
Next year, Isabel Gil is attending the University of Michigan to study Creative Writing/Communications and the Environment. She hopes to effect positive social and environmental change through storytelling. Her time on the Hawk Herald staff has honed her interview skills and taught her how written works can unite a community throughout difficult times. Her most vibrant memories of high school have been marching, playing, and vlogging with the band community. “I’ve loved my time on the field, and especially in the stands,” she shared. “Every day, jazz/band lends me the opportunity to create music and find a sort of inner peace.” She claims that high school has taught her the importance of getting involved within a community. “My time at Eastern has taught me to be unapologetically loud, involved, and energetic,” she stated. “And to stop procrastinating!”
Halle Mikula is attending DePaul University this coming fall. “I originally thought I wanted to go to NYU, but I’ve always known that I was going to end up in Chicago, and now I am,” she said. In her time at Eastern, Halle was involved in many extracurricular activities, but found unparalleled joy and friendships within the theater community. “I’m happy that I met the people that I did junior year who all ended up being my best friends,” she stated. She is content with how high school is ending for her; additionally, she advises high schoolers to embrace their true selves. “I wish I would’ve not cared about what people thought sooner,” she stated. “But I’m happy that it ended this way.”