Grace Allen’s hectic summer has drawn to a close and the Huntington High School junior is already embracing a new set of classes and experiences.
The summer break is just what Ms. Allen needed after a busy sophomore year complete with all of the pressures and stresses that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Understanding early on that my time away from school needed to be restful as well as productive, I strived to break up my summer diligently, working to find a comfortable balance between spending time with my friends and family, creating academic progress, giving back to the community and working, as well as finding time for myself and my personal passions.”
The teenager said she began the summer by traveling with her family; taking short trips whenever schedules made it possible to spend some quality time together and make memories.
“I did my best to split up my summer assignments as the break continued forward, taking time to do a bit each day, while also reviewing any material that I may find beneficial during my junior year,” Ms. Allen said. “Since the beginning of last spring, I knew that my time away from school had to be filled with the things I loved as well as those that were studious. Hence, in recent months I have also been found practicing field hockey with my teammates, playing guitar, writing often, doing yoga, completing artwork, working locally and taking classes on topics that interest me.”
The teenager said that the most “poignant” activity on her very active summer schedule was the communal service work she performed.
“As a young girl, my parents always instilled in me a great awareness of the struggles of others and our place in donating time to causes of meaning,” Ms. Allen said. “Personally speaking, since I was a child I have always gravitated towards working with children and the elderly specifically and henceforth have been humbled to work with Huntington’s Helping Hands and Family Service League this past summer, as well as the private charities that have gained my affection through the years.”
A thoughtful teenager who regularly reflects on life and her place in this world, Ms. Allen is a wonderful young woman who is highly regarded by her classmates and teachers.
“Throughout my life, I’ve found that it’s tremendously easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, comparing yourself to others, worrying about who’s doing what and how it impacts you,” Ms. Allen said. “But, while it may be tempting to get hung up on the latest gossip story, people all around us are suffering and it’s the duty of those that are able to help them. This is not to say that anyone’s personal concerns should be undermined by any means, it’s simply to highlight the critical truth that at this time, the pain of this world weighs on us all and now more than ever is the time to remind people that they are not and have never been alone.”
The junior said she plans to continue her involvement in numerous after school clubs and activities including Key Club and drama club, Grandfriends, A World of Different and The Dispatch, the high school’s student newspaper. She plans to play field hockey and participate in rowing sports.
When it comes to academic life, Ms. Allen is happy to be in school full-time. “I’m honestly just looking forward to being in a classroom with my friends again,” she said. “It may sound silly, but I’ve always loved going to school and now more than ever, I’m particularly grateful to have the opportunity to learn. I’ve heard such wonderful things about all of my teachers and am especially interested in studying Advanced Placement Biology with Mrs. [Deborah] Beck, AP Language and Composition with Mrs. [Victoria] Geier, and AP Psychology with Mr. [Peter] Crugnale.”
The teenager is in no rush to pick a college. Ms. Allen plans on giving the choice the time and attention it deserves so that she finds the school that is right for her.
“I have known for a while now that I’m an individual with a pretty broad variety of interests and passions dear to my heart,” Ms. Allen said. “I’ve been prospectively researching schools throughout the course of my high school career and have been attentively searching for universities that are not only academically stimulating, but more so, embracing of the distinctiveness of each student uniquely. I’m not afraid to look deeper into schools that interest me and am not sold on a name or preconceived reputation alone. In truth, I’m determined to find the right school for me and am willing to put in the time and effort to do so justly.”
Ms. Allen has a good grip on who she is as well as her likes and dislikes. She has discerned her interests well.
“I don’t believe I’ll ever do just one thing, as I’m a naturally curious person and have always relished in discovering new hobbies and ways to collaborate with people,” Ms. Allen said. “Nonetheless, I have always been very drawn to the medical field, pediatrics in particular and am hoping to uncover more about the field and my place in it throughout my junior year.”