- Katie Guyot is a West Junior High School ninth-grader and a member of Angle, the Journal-World's teen advisory board.
There are relatively few occasions that teenagers look forward to every year, unless you count those oh-so-joyful math tests and fantastic English papers. Luckily, winter break is coming to the rescue just in time for the end of this stressful first semester, and soon, homework will be the last thing on anyone's mind.
"I'm going on a cruise," says Kionna Coleman, an eighth-grader at West Junior High School. This will be her first cruise, heightening her enthusiasm. Bon voyage, Kionna!
Southwest Junior High School eighth-grader Bailey Sullivan is also taking a water adventure trip. She's going to San Antonio, and what do we know to be in San Antonio? Sea World, of course!
"I'm looking forward to going to Sea World, and then going to Six Flags and seeing the River Walk," says Bailey, and she is not going to let homework get in the way of her fun.
Many other students are taking to the snow for the holidays, like Jessie Wendler, also in eighth grade at West, who will be traveling to her relatives' home in Colorado to learn how to ski.
Deena Rodecap, West ninth-grader, expects to use the winter wonderland to her advantage, but in a slightly different way.
"I plan on taking my friends sledding," says Deena, whose father lives near Perry Lake dam. "One time, sledding on the spillway, we shot over the road."
Olya Helt, a ninth-grader at West, is going on a five-day ski trip in Colorado after Christmas, but before she leaves, she hopes to volunteer at Pioneer Ridge Retirement Community, 4851 Harvard Road, to help with celebratory festivities.
Olya also will be going to her grandparents' nearby home over the break, as are numerous others, such as West eighth-grader Stephen Anderson, who will be staying with family for about three days, and Kierra Henry, West ninth-grader, who will visit her dad, stepmother and sister in Manhattan.
But doesn't anyone want to stay in Lawrence?
Hannah Schoeneberg and Alena Ivanov, both in ninth grade at West, are two loyal townspeople who will be enjoying the holidays in our otherwise lonely city.
Hannah says, "My mom and I usually go shopping the Saturday after Christmas using the gift cards I get." Score one for the economy!
The Ivanovs, on the other hand, will be hosting their family gathering.
"Normally in the morning, we have all our family and friends over - good friends, good family," Alena says. "We stay together for a while, probably until four or five, playing games, and then everybody comes back at eight or nine and we eat dinner. Then we talk to each other about anything until two in the morning."
The reliefs brought on by the holiday release are so vast and many that they render many students speechless, but in the words of Olya, "I'm just so excited about not having to do P.E. anymore!"