By J.R. Fields
With a distraught expression, Rali Anderson walked into the school where she would spend most of her time for the next 10 months. Her older brother, Raine, had just told Anderson that their mother had left them there for good, which caused Anderson, who was just starting her first day of her Kindergarten year, to be overcome with sadness. Eventually, her brother told her that it was all a joke, and Anderson felt embarrassed about the way her brother tricked her. In her first few days, she mainly hung around her twin sister, Rio Anderson, and her friend from before Kindergarten even started, Katie McFarland.
Meanwhile, Garrett Price had just moved to this new school halfway through that same Kindergarten year. He originally moved to Orleans from Perry Central. He was really nervous about coming to a new environment from a place he had lived all his life. The person he mainly hung around was his cousin, Braxton Beuchler.
These two stories are from students who have been going to the exact same school ever since Kindergarten and are now seniors in high school. The only difference between these two people is the placement in their class and how they got those positions. Anderson is tied for the highest position in her graduating class while Price is number 11 of the class. Anderson is a part of seven different extracurricular groups. Price is only a part of two.
Everyone has their different priorities. As it happens to be, Anderson prioritizes school and extracurricular activities heavily. Meanwhile Price, on the other hand, prioritizes life outside of school just as much as he prioritizes school.
Anderson is currently one of the top ten seniors in her class at Orleans Jr/Sr. High School, while also being involved in many extracurricular activities. The extracurricular activities include being a Vice President in the National Honors Society, Vice President of Tri-Hi-Y, a pep-club member, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), Student Council, cheer, and she is undecided about being a part of track and field in the spring.
The way she maintains her top ranking status is by using different means to study any chance she gets and not sleeping. She spends most of her time either studying in various ways or participating in one of her extracurricular activities. The way she mainly studied was in a very organized and diligent manner that involved writing a lot of notes and color coding things for future reference. Through the use of these options, she has always been on top of her assignments and tests.
She is currently ready to graduate so she can pursue what she wants beyond high school. Anderson plans on going to Ivy Tech for an Associates Degree of Science in Radiation after she graduates.
While Anderson is excited for what the future holds for her, there is a little sadness that comes with moving on. More than anything, she’ll miss the friendships she gained from all those study sessions and extracurricular activities.
“I think the people at school know that I will always love them, and they’ll have a big place in my heart because obviously I’ve been going here since Kindergarten,” Anderson said. “Then, there are like a group of ten people that have been here since I have been [going to Kindergarten]. And I’ll always feel like I’ll remember them, but I am so ready to graduate. I’m so ready to get out of high school and start anew and do what I actually want to do and be able to study and spend all my time on what I love.”
Price is also currently a senior at Orleans Jr/Sr. High School, but he has taken a significantly different route to graduation than Anderson. Price only participates in track and Facts of Life, freeing him up to focus more on his time outside of school.
Back when Price was participating in more extracurricular activities, such as basketball, he found it difficult to study and maintain solid grades, but after moving on, he found that he had significantly more time to study and do homework. While he doesn’t study to the extent that Anderson does with color-coded flash cards and such, he has developed his own personal methods. He doesn’t try to put too much stress on himself, studying for short intervals before moving on with his day. It’s a strategy that has worked for him as he has inched his way closer to the top 10.
Price is glad that high school is finally ending, but he wishes he could spend more time at Orleans. After graduating high school, he plans on going to college or a trade school to become a mechanic. He is also going to try and keep in contact with his friends such as Justin Troutman, Otto Jenkins, Braeden Petty, and Sebastian Breedlove.
“I am glad that high school is coming to an end, but at the same time, I wish it didn’t go as fast as it did,” Price said.
These are two seniors who have been going to the same school for basically all their lives. They are both eager to graduate and progress with life. While Anderson and Price have taken different paths to get to this point in their academic careers, they’ve both cherished their time at Orleans equally.
“While my time in Orleans seemed short, I’ve met so many great teachers, and I really enjoyed most of their classes,” Price said.
Anderson still sits atop the senior rankings in the first-place spot that she has shared with her sister, Rio, since the beginning of high school. Meanwhile, Price has worked his way all the way up to 11th in the rankings.
They are different students with different rankings, but they will always consider themselves Bulldogs.
“I am filled with overwhelming joy because I get to forever be an Orleans Bulldog,” Anderson said.