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The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

Onto the next chapter…

Onto+the+next+chapter...

Hannah Ryan, Maddie DeMay, and Ryan Malcolm all committed to attend William and Mary in the fall of 2024. As the end of the year approaches, the three best friends reflect on their time together throughout high school, and the upcoming memories to come in college. 

 

High school helped bring these three best friends together. DeMay and H. Ryan hit off their friendship in elementary school. Entering middle school, DeMay and Malcolm became closer through having classes together. High school helped Ryan and Malcolm become friends, and that launched the three’s friendship. 

 

“I initially got to know Maddie in first grade, and we’ve been friends ever since. I met Ryan in seventh grade, but I didn’t become friends with him until sophomore year,” H. Ryan said. 

 

Throughout the highs and lows of high school, these best friends have stayed strong. As each of them are Blue Ridge Virginia Governor’s School (BRVGS) students, they have been able to build a deeper bond because of the same classes they’ve shared with each other. 

 

“Through BRVGS, we went on a lot of group field trips and studied together,” H. Ryan said. “The three of us grew into ourselves, but grew alongside each other into better individuals and stronger friends.”

 

In BRVGS, the three had to make senior capstone projects presentations and present them to a group of teachers. Throughout this process, each student had to come up with their topic, create their presentation, and then practice presenting. During their four years, this final project was what they worked for during their time in BRVGS.

 

I found the three to function as cheerleaders and think tanks for each other,” BRVGS biology teacher Shannon King said. “They are able to determine if their job as a friend, at that time, is to listen, solve, or provide a kick in the tail.”

 

High school has helped these three experience the fun side of freedom as they start to drive and hang out on their own with each other. They went to football games together and DeMay and Malcolm would be front row supporting H. Ryan at her volleyball games. 

 

“In spending so much time together we naturally grew closer and began talking outside of school,” Malcolm said. “That led to us hanging out and eventually becoming really good friends.”

 

College commitments for high school students are highly stressful to say the least: From dealing with scholarships, visiting schools, researching schools, and the big one, determining what school is the best fit. As seniors face the stress of all things college, one thing the three friends kept in mind is they don’t always have to choose the first thing they see or love the school the first time they see it.

 

“I visited William & Mary my junior year, and then went back this April to their admitted students day,” H. Ryan said. “I loved the campus and had a great conversation with one of their biology professors that really sold me on their program.”

 

Some students really dive deep into what the school has to offer including entertainment, academics, and athletics. The other view students look for is the outdoor side of things. The landscape and outdoor abilities can help hook undecided students the minute they step on campus. The three friends really took into consideration what the outside of campus had to offer.  

 

“It’s been fun [the commitment process], I got accepted a couple of months ago but I hadn’t decided where I wanted to go until recently,” Malcolm said. “I fell in love with the nature that is incorporated into the campus and the different trails on the grounds.” 

 

Not all college commitments are stressful. Sometimes students have a plan and instantly know where they want to go and what they want to study. Either way the process is exciting, stressful, and anxious all at the same time. For Ryan and Malcolm, having a friend like DeMay who has made the decision and supports no matter what is always encouraging to know. 

 

“I had Early Decision II in William and Mary,” DeMay said. “I didn’t put a lot of stress or thought into it considering I knew it was a good college and it seemed like a very good fit for me and my plans.”

 

College can be scary, especially going to a brand new place with brand new people. After growing up in a place, knowing majority of the people and forming bonds with classmates, going somewhere where it’s now the total opposite can definitely be hard. These three best friends will leave their childhood homes and friends and go to a place new, but knowing that they’re all on the same campus together and they have each other. 

 

“ Not only will I have peers from my hometown, but they’re some of the loveliest people I have ever met,” DeMay said.

— Maddie DeMay

 “ Not only will I have peers from my hometown, but they’re some of the loveliest people I have ever met,” DeMay said. 

 

High school is a time for memories and good times. The four years of high school are times where people discover themselves, build friendships, and get to experience life as a teenager. Establishing friendships, like DeMay, Ryan, and Malcolm did, is such a crucial part of the high school experience. Building relationships with people that are enjoyable makes the memories so much better. 

 

“I really enjoyed senior movie night with Hannah and Maddie, we all piled into Hannah’s car and watched Ghostbusters,” Malcolm said. “We hardly paid attention to the movie and spent the night laughing and enjoying each other’s company.”

 

As high school fades and graduation creeps upon the seniors, life advice starts to sneak its way into conversations. From students to now adults going into the real world, no one can truly prepare one for the circumstances they may face. As the three best friends step into this next chapter, they have each other to lean on to help make it through the hard times. 

 

“Keep your friendship together and be ready to adjust to change,” King said. “Make those plans to come together and physically be together on a regular basis whether it be once a month or once a year.”

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