By Caroline Chidester, Ellise Shafer and Greyson Van Arsdale, ’17
“Looking back on my high school career, my most favorite memory was cheerleading during my freshman and sophomore year. Participating in a high school activity allowed me to meet so many new friends and experience great opportunities. Cheerleading gave me the chance to meet new friends that I’d never knew that I’d be close to. I loved cheering on the Bears as they succeeded through tournament games and their season. My favorite memory from cheerleading is when the Bears made it to the state championship game. All of the cheerleading squads were able to watch close games between the bears and their opponents throughout the entire season. It was really cool to be able to see every game and experience it all with the team. After cheerleading I was able to make some of my best friends from it. I would recommend everyone to join a school activity in order to experience great opportunities and meet some of your best friends. There is no doubt that participation in an activity will lead to one of your favorite memories.”
“When I walked into IB Biology on the first day of junior year, I thought I was in the wrong room. Instead of a class, I found four other students and Mr. Orloff. We looked at each other in disbelief for a couple of seconds, then laughed. A five-person class? In a two-year course?
The four strangers I met that day have turned out to be some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. More than that, they have a genuine love for Biology, a concern for the world around them, and a respect for life itself. We’ve asked big questions, and we haven’t been intimidated by unclear answers. We’ve dissected cow eyes and sheep brains and pig kidneys. We’ve cooked pig hearts in a wok on a hot plate. We’ve made soap and cheese and ginger ale. We’ve found connections between things that don’t seem related at all: fevers and proteins; hookworms and allergies; fingers and the villi that line the walls of the small intestine. This class has challenged me mentally, stretched my creativity, and ultimately made me a better person. I couldn’t be more grateful.”
“Cows are unreal mammals. All they do is eat and sleep and that is pretty cool to me. The highlight of my whole senior year was hanging out with the cows at the OSU farm field during lunch. If you have ever been up close and personal with a cow, you will learn a couple of things about yourself. First off, you are nowhere near as powerful as a cow. While humans are the smarter mammals, cows have power on us and therefore, you must respect these creatures. I found this lesson out the hard way when I attempted to ride a cow and it promptly bit me. Second off, cows communicate through body language and it makes you feel bad because you want to speak with them, but you simply can’t. I have tried many times to communicate with these beasts but I have failed every time and I have really felt bad about myself. Lastly, cows will bite your fingers if you allow them access to your digits. Feed them with a closed hand, my friends.”
“One of my favorite high school memories was taking a field trip to Andros Island the summer going into my sophomore year. This field trip was an option provided by the school as an educational biology field trip. We were constantly kept busy, from going out for a beautiful snorkel in the crystal clear Caribbean, going on dives exploring the waters depths, hiking to blue holes, or sitting in the classroom discussing biology after dinner each night. Not only was the trip filled with many wonderful experiences but I also grew a lot closer with all the kids who went on the trip as well, meeting some of my best friends now there. Being on a remote island, out of the country, free of cell service or any technology distractions, was one of the greatest feelings because it truly allowed us to really take in and appreciate each experience, and each moment, creating more real and strong relationships with others and memories that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend this trip to anyone and everyone, it was such a positive highlight of my time in high school and I’m so thankful I was able to have this opportunity.”
“February, 2016 felt like a peak in my diving career. I worked diligently the entire season of my junior year to fulfill my greatest season goal of making it to the State competition. With a lot of effort and a little bit of good luck, I punched my ticket and would continue on to the Ohio High School State Swimming and Diving Meet in Canton, Ohio. With some unfortunate luck early on in the meet, our team’s medley relay was disqualified, putting the pressure on the rest of the group. I had a standout performance in the 1m diving competition, securing 2nd place and 17 points for the team. Nothing could have prepared me for how thrilled I was going to be after the silver medal was placed around my neck, and the rejoice from my Upper Arlington family was unbelievable. That evening, the lights came on and the roaring UA crowd propelled the female swimmers to victory in the final moments. Every point mattered and we could not have experienced the exhilarating feeling of standing on the podium without everyone’s effort. Representing Upper Arlington had never tasted so sweet.”
“I think that my favorite memory in high school came all the way back during the winter and spring of my freshman year. What an exciting time it was when our varsity basketball team went to the state finals in 2014. The way the community came together and jumped on the bandwagon as they advanced further and further was really special. I just remember how crazy the school was during those couple weeks. It was all so new because our team hadn’t been there in 70-some years. I was just a freshman on the freshman team but I was able to be a part of it due to my brother being the starting point guard on the varsity team that year. It was not only a community win for Arlington but also a personal win for me as I had rooted so hard for my brother over his many illustrious basketball years and especially his senior year, a year in which he had returned from double hip surgery just the summer before. Going to the Schottenstein Center and seeing all that black and golf across the arena was a memory that will be ingrained in my mind forever. That’s when I felt the most pride for my community and for my family.”
“My favorite memory of high school has been the Mexico Mission Trip with First Community Church. I have spent three of my spring breaks in Tecate, Mexico to build houses for families in need and they have been the best trips I could’ve asked for. It was such an amazing experience to bond with my tent-mates, work group, and people from other schools. We spent the week without showering, eating traditional Mexican meals, and meeting families who were eager to help us build. I absolutely loved getting to know my new families each year and knowing that I was helping a community. The trip was a lot of hard work, but I don’t regret ever going. I have so many great memories of eating packed lunches, laughing with my group, bundling up in blankets, and sitting around the fire. This trip has made an incredible impact on my high school career, and I am so glad that I was able to participate.”
“My favorite memory from high school actually happened very recently. This year, I went to New York with Symphonic Choir. I knew this was going to be a fun trip, but I didn’t know just how fantastic it would be. We saw two amazing shows on Broadway, Miss Saigon and Come From Away, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and sang at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We also had a substantial amount of time to explore Rockefeller Center, Chelsea Market, and Times Square with our friends, and these moments provided me with some of my favorite memories from the trip. I got so much closer to not only my roommates, but a great deal of people in choir who I didn’t really know before we went to the city. I will cherish the friendships and memories I was able to make in the city for a very long time to come.”
“My high school experience is one that is filled with amazing memories that will last me a lifetime. I have taken awesome classes, and have learned from teachers whose lessons will have a lasting impact on me. My favorite memory throughout high school though was my sophomore year when the orchestras went to Toronto, Canada. I was in concert orchestra at the time, and I was excited to go. Before the bus was even two hours away, of course there was a crazy incident. Our huge charter bus suddenly crashed. My friend next to me started yelling and we were tipping back and forth. It was really exhilarating but luckily no one one the bus got hurt. We eventually made it to Canada safely, and the trip was one I will never forget. We saw Niagara Falls, went to a bunch of awesome restaurants, and got the opportunity to play music in beautiful castles. Even though our bus crashed and we had a four hour delay, the trip to Toronto was one that I will never forget. Also, being in the same city that Drake is from is definitely a bonus.”
“One of my favorite memories from high school was during the summer before my senior year on the night of Red White & BOOM. One of my friends had just graduated and was getting ready to move out of Columbus for college so we wanted to do something fun before she left. We heard that a bunch of people would be on the top floor of a parking garage in the middle of Columbus to watch the fireworks, so we got some friends together and went. The view from the garage was amazing, we could see miles of the city, and hundreds of people walking around at the festival below. We sat in the back of our friends pick-up truck and played games and hung out until the fireworks started. When the show began, we blasted the music from the truck’s radio, and watched the city light up. It was a great night spent with great people.”
“One of the highlights of my high school experience has been the connections I have been able to make with people whether through classes, music, sports, and other activities. Not only have I connected with people in my own grade but from all corners of the UA community. However, this year I had the chance to connect to students from another corner of the globe through the Scotland Exchange Program. I made connections in Scotland, but also at home with people who I had never crossed paths with previously, turning us into one big dysfunctional yet lovable extended exchange family. The exchange made me discover the similarities of human experience and uncover my passions for travel and exploration. Some highlights of the exchange included getting to explore the cities in Scotland like Edinburgh and Dundee, seeing magnificent castles, and most of all visiting highland cows! It has been incredibly fulfilling personally to be able to make connections across the globe while exploring my own interests at this time in my life. I still can’t believe I have an entire family nearly 4,000 miles away. These discoveries are what I will carry with me forever and I am so thankful I had the chance to have such an amazing experience.”
“I think my favorite memory of High School was the New York Trip during the spring of my junior year. I remember I came back from Italy (that’s where my family and I went for spring break) and was home in UA for six hours all before going back on the road for New York. A lot of our close friends from our grade and the grade above were on the trip as well, which made it even more enjoyable. Especially because we didn’t always have classes with them throughout the years. We got to tour the city and learn about broadcasting all in one trip. I find as I think back to it, I reminisce on the night time activities the most. I think it’s partially due to the beauty and ambience of the city. The city was illuminated everywhere and there was constantly activity around you; it’s such a prepossessing environment to be in. The first evening after we arrived in NYC, we walked around the Brooklyn Bridge. There is a petite building by the bridge that sells ice cream, so everyone filled up on that cold treat as we watched the sky cumbersomely change colors above the skyline. The adventure ended with a Knicks vs Nets game. Feelings were bittersweet on the way back home, everyone crashed on the bus ride eventually. Many of us found out that the floor of the bus was the most comfortable place to rest.”
“Through sports, clubs, and spending time with friends, high school has provided me with many memorable experiences.
My favorite memory would have to be being a sixth grade camp counselor. As a sixth grader at Jones Middle school when I attended sixth grade camp I hated it, but going as a high schooler was a totally different experience. Being a camp counselor was an awesome opportunity to get to know some of the other seniors and juniors at the high school better, reconnect with some of my old teachers, and to help the sixth graders have a great time.
At the camp we were able to go on four hikes, make war paint, and conquer back breaker hill. The first night of the camp, all of the cabins competed in the first ever Amazing Race games. My cabin was able to make it through all of the challenges the quickest to come out in first place! I loved being given the chance to make sure that all of the kids had a great time while having fun and spending time with some of my friends.”
“My favorite memory of high school is actually not that memorable at all. Over the four years, I’ve seen a countless number of amazing places and people, and for sure had my share of crazy experiences. But the best times I’ve had at UAHS can not be found in any of the ludicrous stories from my closest brushes with death or the law. My fondest memories here have all come from the inaction of this little city. The boredom and the freedom of youth are a sweetness that I’ve tried to savor as much as possible before next year when we are all unwillingly jettisoned into the world of bills and responsibilities for the rest of our lives. This picture was taken in the Columbus Metropolitan Library after a full day of wandering throughout the bustling streets of downtown Columbus. By the end of the night, what we had done was essentially nothing, as no planned action was attempted or completed, yet that day was still more exciting and memorable than most planned days in my life. It’s hard to imagine that we may have never become buddies at all if we hadn’t grown up in the same crappy hometown. Regardless of how sucky some of the times here may have been, I’m glad that so many of my closest memories, good and bad, took place in the city of Upper Arlington.”
“Many consider their high school years to be the best years of their lives. Whether it be the friendships formed and then destroyed, the freedom of still being young and immature, or the ability to get a lunch detention for saying a simple curse word, everyone experiences memorable moments. As my time at high school slowly comes to a close, I spend very little time thinking about the past and instead thinking about the future. Although when I do think about the past, my most memorable moment of high school was when I hit my peak junior year. After a fantastic regular season, the Upper Arlington Golden Bears football team was lined up to play against Pickerington Central in round one of the playoffs. With the Bears up by a score and Pickerington driving, it looked as if the game would end with a stellar finish. Then on 3rd down, I was able to hide behind the D1 bound Pickerington Central tight end from my linebacker position and dive in front of him as the ball was thrown. Using my Odell Beckham Jr. like hands, I intercepted the ball. This resulted in UA getting the ball back and ending the game. I have never had another moment in sports where my coaches and teammates were so proud of me. I continue to live and thrive off the R2D lifestyle and will never forget that moment my junior year.”
“I have many great memories, but majority come from the pool. My favorite High School memory would have to be from my senior year. I would not have gotten to where I am without the help of everyone in my life. Against all odds, for the first time I made it to the state meet for division I swimming. Unlike many kids, I didn’t start at a young age. I didn’t join the swim club until 6th grade and wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue swimming in High School. All the early mornings and evenings seemed like a lot of time, but I decided I would give it a try. Freshman and sophomore year were tough, we had several juniors and seniors that were great in freestyle so I had to focus on backstroke. Needless to say I am terrible at backstroke. It wasn’t until my senior year I qualified for more than one race in my desire stroke. At districts I was surprised that I qualified for states in the 50 free and was going to participate with three other UA team members in the 200 free relay. At states were considered underdogs but were willing to do anything to achieve yet another state title. All three of our relays placed 1st in the state and thru this process I’ve learned that perseverance can help you accomplish great things.