Education News

Graduation 2022: What an MUHS grad has to say

2022 MIDDLEBURY UNION High School graduate Fairley Olson is excited to take on the challenges of her next phase of life.

High school can be a transformative experience, especially when those years were marked by a global pandemic. In conversation with Fairley Olson, a 2022 graduate from Middlebury Union High School, we dive deeper into her scholastic experience and what she believes the future holds for her.

After graduation she enjoyed a well-deserved vacation, but made time to talk with the Independent.

Olson represents the bold new generation that is hardened by the adversity of the pandemic and is ready to face all challenges life plans to throw at them.

What are your immediate plans after school, and have you thought about a field of study that interests you?

Fairley Olson: My immediate plans are taking a gap year. I have enrolled in a volunteer and organized travel program for 10 weeks through which I will be traveling to New Zealand and Australia in the fall.

After that, I am going to attend Colgate University starting in 2023. I am leaning towards studying Political Science at college, but I intend to explore a diverse bunch of classes for the first two years of college to figure out what I am interested in.

If you were to describe the last two years of your high school using a few words, what words would they be?

Fairley Olson: Unpredictable, overwhelming, and bonding with classmates. It was overwhelming at times, but I felt like I had an opportunity to make deeper connections with my classmates and friends as we were all helping each other face the struggles of the pandemic together.

What would you say are some skills that the adversity of the last two years has taught that might help in coping with life after school?

Fairley Olson: Adaptability is a major skill that I have developed. I think I am a lot better now with just going with the flow. I am more comfortable with changes on the fly and dealing with uncertainty. Earlier, not knowing about things used to freak me out, but I am much more relaxed going into things when I do not know anything about them. Another skill I have developed is compassion for people. Observing people’s struggles and how they handled or dealt with the pandemic in such diverse ways made me compassionate for people and for how they handle situations differently.

Have there been any factors that have worried you lately like going away from home, cost of college, social relationships, or anything else?

Fairley Olson: I work at summer camp, and I have been attending camp since a very young age, so I know what it is like to be away from home. The cost of college does worry me a little bit, even though my parents are covering my college fee, thinking about graduate school and how expensive it is worries me at times. I am a little nervous about leaving my friends that I have had for years. Making new friends after a long time can be a little scary, but I am excited and looking forward to it with some good nervous energy.

What are some things that you’re going to miss most and least about school?

Fairley Olson: I am going to miss the people the most. The people make the place as good as it is. I am going to miss all my friends and teachers who I have formed a special bond with. I am certainly not going to miss the academic rigor of the (International Baccalaureate) program, it was a bit much at times and I am glad I am done with it.

What is one thing you are most excited about your life after high school?

Fairley Olson: I am extremely excited about doing things that are unique to me and to make my own experiences. I am excited to branch out of my small school social circle and make new friends and I am confident that I will find the right group for me.

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