By Dylan Desrosiers
The adjustment to school during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has been different for everyone. Some students are struggling and falling behind, while others are bored and unchallenged. On top of that, high school seniors also have to worry about a big question: what will my future look like one year from now? For NAHS senior Aidan Judge, not only is he staying up to date with remote learning, but he’s also building a future for himself–from his own living room.
Judge made the decision to be a full-remote learner because he has a high-risk family member in his house. He said school has been going well for him so far.
“It’s very, very stressful compared to years past and it’s a lot more work than I was expecting, but I’ve been getting by,” said Judge. He said he also likes the independent aspect of remote learning.
Even though Aidan has made the adjustment to school this year, he said he’s still nervous about applying for college and his future. “I’m nervous that, because of the strange pandemic circumstances, I won’t be prepared enough when I get into college,” said Judge. “I feel like I was just thrown into stressful circumstances without any preparation.”
Despite the uncertainty, Aidan is making plans for his future.
“I want to go on a journalistic path for my future. I really enjoy writing and journalism and writing articles about things I love, so I’m glad I get to do that in this class and that’s what I plan on doing in college,” said Judge.
Some students take Journalism II just to fill a graduation requirement. Others take the class because they enjoy writing. Aidan took the class to prepare for his future career as a journalist.
Judge is using his time in this class to gain more experience in the field. “I’m trying to build a portfolio of writing and experience so I can be prepared for college-level writing,” said Judge.
For Aidan, the choice to become a journalist was an easy one. “I love using my voice to tell my own stories and give my input on things,” said Judge. “The world would be at a complete halt without journalism; it’s an absolute necessity of the world. I think a lot of people don’t realize that, and that journalists don’t get enough credit.”
Aidan said he wants to put a spotlight on the interesting stories of average people and share them with the world.
The North Star Reporter, a local North Attleboro newspaper, offers internships for high school students. Aidan was able to participate in an internship in the spring. Aidan said he “really enjoyed [his] internship with NSR. [He] got a lot of great skills that [he’s] definitely going to carry with [him] in the future.”
As for college, Aidan is considering a few schools. He said his top schools are Hofstra University in Long Island in NY, Emerson College in Boston and UMass Amherst. He plans to major in communications and minor in journalism, which, he says, will give him a broad range of career paths he can go down.
“I see myself in a lot of different careers. I would really love to work for a media company and do press and PR management, or write for a news website,” said Judge.
As Aidan is preparing for college, he’s also sad that he’ll be leaving behind an important part of his life: cross country and track. For him, it’s a bittersweet ending to high school.
“I’m so incredibly sad that this is my last year of XC and track,” said Judge. “My fondest memories come from cross country and I’m really devastated that I won’t be able to run with this team for another season after this one.”
NAHS Track captain Jack MacLaughlin said, “Aidan is one of the hardest working people on the team and his love for the sport is unmatched. He always gives 110% effort and is a constant positive presence on the team.”
As a member of both the cross country and track and field teams since Freshman year, to Aidan, it’s more than just a sport: it’s his family.
NAHS Cross Country captain Melissa Sapini said she’s “made the best of friends that I truly believe will result in lifelong friendships; one of which being Aidan! Cross Country is best known for our ongoing team culture and welcoming atmosphere that offers a sense of belonging, especially as a freshman.”
Sapini continued, “As cliche as it sounds, it was only yesterday that we were just a couple of lost freshmen trying to find our place. Since legitimately day one, Aidan Judge has been the ying to my yang throughout cross country, indoor track, outdoor track and high school. It’s hard to believe the possibility of all that ending in just eight months.”
2020 has certainly been an emotional year on many levels, but Aidan’s perseverance through all odds and is what makes him stand out. In a year that’s hard to think of any day but the present, moment by moment, and in a year where the future is always unknown, it’s his determination and strength to keep moving forward that makes Aidan such an incredibly mature and caring person.