The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

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Interviews with Breezers Past

The Ghost of Christmas Past in the 2009 animated version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”

For the past two years now, The Breeze has celebrated the holiday season by interviewing former Breezers. This year, we have decided to get in touch with the four of our graduating seniors from the 2022-2023 edition of The Breeze: Lily Botelho, Kylee Schecter, Stella Fernandes, and Katie Strickler. We hope you enjoy hearing from these Ghosts of Breezemas Past and have a very happy holiday season!

Where are you attending college and what do you study there? How has your college experience been?

Lily: I’m currently attending Smith College in Northampton, MA. I started the semester aiming to major in history but I switched some things around the first couple of weeks and I’m now working towards a neuroscience major with a possible minor in history. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it here! College life was a massive transition that I’m still adjusting to somewhat but Western Massachusetts has a lot to offer and the culture at Smith is really different from anything I’ve experienced before.

Kylee: I spent my first semester of college at Bentley University but I’m going to be at UMASS Dartmouth studying economics for the rest of my undergraduate career. College has been pretty interesting; I was a part of the women’s network and a Rainbow Scholar at my last university and both were great experiences!

Stella: I am currently attending Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. I am double majoring in archaeology and museum studies. Overall, my experience has been great! I really enjoy my classmates and professors. I was able to take a lot of classes relevant to my major right off the bat, which has been very exciting. I am passionate about what I’m learning and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.

Katie: I am currently attending the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and I am studying engineering, but I’m planning on going into physics with a concentration in astrophysics. My experience has been nothing but fun but also a lot of hard work and I love attending college.

How has being a Breezer influenced you after high school?

Lily: Now, I’m only one semester removed, so I don’t think the full effects of my time at the Breeze have manifested, but I have noticed some benefits. One thing that I’ve discovered is that I can write papers much faster than I thought I would be able to.  Adapting to the idea of writing 10+ page papers on short notice was one of the biggest academic transitions of college and my time at the Breeze has definitely helped me be less intimidated by these larger assignments. While I don’t think I ever wrote anything close to 10 pages for The Breeze, my article writing and our group editing really helped me to have more confidence in the work I’ve been producing this semester.

Kylee: I think being a Breezer exposed me to strategies for effective teamwork which has been helpful with the collaborative nature of the university I attended.

Stella: Working for the Breeze has made me more appreciative of student journalism. Although my current schedule prevents me from joining my current school’s paper, I still like to keep up with it and support it when I can.

Katie: Breeze has actually impacted me quite a bit and it helped improve my writing skills and it’s really paid off and many other aspects, such as an English teacher of mine that I had wanted to read about in my Bluey article.

Looking back on all of your work with The Breeze, which of your articles that you’ve published was your favorite and why?

Lily: I wrote a lot of articles that I was proud of during my time at the Breeze, but my favorite would have to be what I believe was my first ever article from freshman year, “It’s Crick-getting out of Hand”. That year there was a weird amount of dead crickets piling up in the technology hallway on the first floor and I decided to write about how and why it was happening. I remember researching how cricket infestations happen and even interviewing a teacher about their opinion. I’m not sure if I would even call this article good, but the pun in the title and the gross close-up of a dead cricket as the featured image just makes me laugh every time I think about it. (You can read “It’s Crick-getting out of Hand” here.)

Kylee: My favorite articles that I wrote were my college series. Writing is always better when you’re passionate about your topic, and for me college admissions was always something I’d been fascinated by. (You can read the first installment of “College with Kylee” here.)

Stella: My favorite article was my “exposé” on ‘Murica Monday. At the time, I was very passionate about the issue. I found that writing an article was a great way to vent my frustrations. (You can read Stella’s “exposé” here.)

Katie: It’s no secret that my favorite article I’ve ever written was my Bluey article not only because of its popularity but also because I genuinely love the topic and writing about it. In my English class this year I ended up writing about Cocomelon once again. (You can read “What Kids Should Be Watching Instead of Cocomelon” here.)

Having graduated from Somerset Berkley just last year, what advice would you give to current students of the school?

Lily: If I were to give advice to current SBRHS students, it would just be to be aware of who you are beyond the environment of high school and your friends there. I realized pretty quickly after graduation that who I was within the walls of SBRHS really didn’t matter at all anymore. When you get to college and everyone is coming from a different place, you’re essentially starting from scratch as 99% of the people you’ll meet will have no preconceived opinion of you, which is hard to come by in high school. It’s important to know who you are to yourself and not just how you feel you are perceived by other people because you can be seen so completely differently in another environment. It may sound cheesy, but being able to separate your real self from who you are in high school will really help you to grow in the long run.

Kylee:I would tell current students to go one day at a time and enjoy where they’re at instead of just looking ahead.

Stella: Hang in there! High school has its highs and lows. It’s all about looking on the bright side of things. Keep an open mind, learn to love people for who they are, and you’re sure to find yourself a genuine group of friends that’ll make the tougher parts of high school bearable.

Katie: The advice I would give is to work hard but to also enjoy yourself. Don’t work so hard that you overwork yourself but also don’t have too much fun that you forget to work hard. Find the balance that works for you.

Have you participated in any fun holiday traditions/events this year?

Lily: Smith College is known for having a ton of little traditions that students participate in year-round, one of the ones for December is a version of Secret Santa called Secret Snowflake where you’re randomly assigned another person in your dorm to buy little gifts for. You leave candies and stickers and other small presents outside their door every day for a week, and then on Friday, everyone in the dorm who participated meets in the dorm’s living room to reveal who was giving gifts to whom. It was a great break from finals and really encouraging to have those little pick-me-ups left outside your door every morning.

Kylee: Yes! I attended Dighton’s Lights On event and the Viva Fall River Children’s 39th Holiday Parade.

Stella: This year I participated in a gingerbread making contest in my dorm. As a group of art/design majors, we had high expectations for ourselves. Much to our dismay, we did not win (our house collapsed in front of our very eyes). It was still a fun experience.

Katie: With some college friends of mine, we actually had all planned to do a secret Santa this year, and ended up going all the way up to La Salette.

What is your favorite holiday movie and why do you like it?

Lily: I love any and all bad Hallmark movies. My one requirement is that they can’t actually be good. To me, there’s nothing more fun than sitting on the couch with my friends laughing hysterically while picking apart a so-bad-it’s-good movie. If you’re looking for recommendations, I believe Stella Fernandes wrote a review of one we watched together a few years ago that’s still up on The Breeze.

Kylee: My favorite holiday movie is “Three Wise Men and a Baby!” I love all things Hallmark and comedy, so this movie is just a perfect combination!

Stella: My favorite holiday movie is Christmas with the Kranks. It never fails to make me laugh. I watch it with my family every year.

Katie: My favorite holiday movie is “A Very Corgi Christmas”. I loved the story line and how cute all the corgis were.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Rose, Editor and Social Media Manager
Ryan is currently in his senior year at Somerset Berkley Regional High School and this is his third year as a member of The Breeze, where he will serve as this year's editor and social media manager. He is also a member of Model UN here at Somerset Berkley. Outside of school, he can often be found either reading a book or practicing the ukulele and piano.  Ryan is also heavily interested in politics and volunteered for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.

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