’18 Ashlyn Harris

Written by Marie Kane |

Photos by Marie Kane & former PawPrint staff

Ashlyn came in 2nd for the gingerbread house competition

Ashlyn Harris graduated from Morgan with the Class of 2018 and now is at UNH (University of New Haven).  The reason she chose this school is that she had the most opportunity there. She was unsure of what she wanted to do, coming into college.  Ashlyn said, “It was important for me to find a school who would help me find my passion, and UNH is one that really does.” Ashlyn describes it as her second home: “Even before I confirmed I was going they cared for me as one of their own and that showed how committed they are to their students.”

 

She feels as though schoolwise, high school is better because of how easy it is and how there is a constant push from parents and teachers to do all the work. Ashlyn said, “Here, it is all up to you to find the motivation and time to do what you need to do. College also brings a sense of freedom and time that wasn’t there in high school. Planning your day and schedule to be how you want it and acting almost exactly how you please is much easier here.”

Ashlyn is majoring in Health Sciences because she would like to make a positive impact on the world while also being hands-on and with people. She said, “Helping others has always been something I am passionate about and studying health sciences will help me find a way to do this for a long time.” She explained how being in college lets her expand her horizons in a very positive way especially because of all the new people she has met and connections she has made. “I have tried to put myself out there allowing me to really expand who I am as a person and what I am involved in/stand for. There is a larger pool of options at your fingertips or that you can create for yourself allowing you to do exactly what you want to do.”

A funny moment Ashlyn had in college so far was when she spontaneously attended an Ed Sheeran concert with friends. They were in her room listening to Ed Sheeran: “My friend had said that he was actually playing near us soon, so I jokingly said ‘hey, let’s go!’ We laughed and continued on with what we were doing.” Next thing you know, once 12 hours passed, there was tons of parental convincing as well as stress, “We were on a train to New Jersey just three college freshmen going to see Ed Sheeran. Running late to almost every single train we took (there were three each way), we went from UNH to Met Life, buying concert tickets on the train ride there.”

Ashlyn’s favorite class in high school was culinary aka her “get away class”. Clearly, she loved to cook. She was able to get away from any stressors she had and got the chance to go enjoy doing a hobby. Ashlyn said, “To me, culinary is a creative form of expression, and it is something I will forever love. Going to this class, I knew I would have a fun time and learn a lot about what I loved to do.” She explained how former culinary teacher Joanne Nunan always made the class better than it already was.  “She was one of the most caring teachers and passionate. She cared about her students and our work. If we put in the work so would she to help us reach our full potential. She would always have fun stories to tell us or ideas to share and always kept the creativity flowing and a positive atmosphere. This is a class and teacher I will forever miss.”

Ashlyn took a trip to D.C. junior year for a week with English teacher Eric Bergman for Political Club. She spent some of her free time with Nadin Khalifa and Karla Rivadeneira for a couple of hours before a meeting. They got into a taxi together and told the taxi driver to take them to the JFK Memorial Center: “Instead after driving like crazy all the way across town, he dropped us off at the JFK museum. Unfortunately, we had already paid and did not know we were at the wrong place till we got out of the cab and he drove away. We ended up on the other side of town and with twenty minutes to get to where we had to be. Luckily after a second taxi, we got there.” This was Ashlyn’s first time in a taxi.

In ten years, Ashlyn would like to see herself making a difference in people’s lives in a powerful and positive way: “I am not sure what specific career path that may be in yet, but my end goal is to be the change the I would like to see in the world.” If she could go back to high school, she would push herself more outside of her comfort zone: “The best times I have had here at UNH have been when I was pushing myself further, just a little at a time. There is no harm in taking a risk that will better you in the end.”

Ashlyn felt prepared to graduate in some aspects, but not others. “I felt I was ready to live on my own and be able to take care of myself, but I was not sure if I was ready to make the big decision of what school to go to.” She explained that Morgan helped her prepare greatly for the real world: “I feel as though they gave me the problem-solving skills I needed, as well as the push I needed to get where I am today.”

She described high school as memorable and college she described as growth. Before graduating, Ashlyn wished she knew how fast time would go by. She preaches a fact saying, “Everyone is told that high school goes by fast, but this is something you’ll never truly know until you are done and there’s no going back.” Her advice to the seniors here is to not rush through it: “Deadlines and dates will come and go but these last memories you will hold on to are what matter. Cherish this year, and do not let all the stress of graduating and drama get in the way of enjoying it. There will be and probably already is so much going on, but make the time for your friends and for yourself.”

Ashlyn gave a shoutout to chemistry teacher Karen Kaestle, who she described as one of the most kind and caring teachers at Morgan because “Whether in the classroom or out she always had a passion to make sure her students were doing okay. From endless college talks, to advice to prepare for the world, to the best advisory waffle parties, she was always there for me. Even in the classroom she had such a deep understanding of the knowledge and would make sure the students did as well. There were a lot of laughs and good moments that would not have happened without her.”

Before graduating, Ashlyn felt in a rush to get somewhere: “I was a bit nervous and scared to leave and to make defining decisions about my future. But now that I am here I could not feel more secure with my decision. I am happy with where everything has led me, and although I miss it, I am glad to be where I am now.”

 

 

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