Central senior makes best of odd high school home stretch
Last updated 3/25/2020 at 4:33pm | View PDF
Talk about an ending with a twist.
E-learning without classmates is certainly not the way Hinsdale Central senior Lillian Niemeyer saw her final semester in high school unfolding. But she said the experience is equipping her with some useful life skills.
"It's very easy to procrastinate, for sure. I'm having to schedule my own times to study and find some tools I can use, like a planner, to help me," Niemeyer related. "I think that this is definitely going to benefit me when I go to college in the fall."
It will be Xavier University in Cincinnati where she'll next deploy those time management tactics, with a plan to major in special education and minor in musical performance. The campus, and specifically its music school students, captured Niemeyer's heart during a visit.
"They had such a will to live out their lives as best they could," she described.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions likely rule out another trip there until move-in day. Niemeyer said she looks forward to launching her college career - and resuming life without social distancing.
"I'm going to be a very social person (in whatever residence hall) I do end up living. That will be a huge part of my life in," she said.
Niemeyer praised her Central instructors for providing support and encouragement in this unprecedented season.
"Teachers are doing a really good job of giving guidance to keep you on task," she said. "They're really more hands-on than just giving us an article to read."
The junior class is facing some uncertainty with much of the SAT and ACT testing halted.
"I know they're really stressed out because of that," she said.
Students needing to take multiple AP tests also face hurdles, added Niemeyer, who is in one AP class.
"It's been more difficult to study than I would be able to if I were in school, not having the ability to just ask teachers our questions," she said.
Being part of the Central marching band's color guard has been a meaningful component of her Red Devil journey.
"I auditioned my freshman year, and was captain my junior and senior years, which was just awesome," Niemeyer said. "Band friends are friends for life."
Facetime and other virtual connecting methods are thankfully available to help relationships weather the shelter-in-place directive. Niemeyer was among those in the community who offered their services to fetch groceries or support neighbors for whom the restrictions pose considerable hardships.
In her figurative crystal ball, Niemeyer envisions herself teaching special eduction in a middle school or high school one day. Her work with adaptive P.E. and peer buddies at Central has helped her embrace the everyday joys.
"I took some of the girls prom dress shopping, and we had a movie day," she said. "It's fun being able to see their growth after becoming friends with them. They always bring such a light to my day, and they don't care about drama."