This story is one of a continuing series, highlighting the lives of Paoli High School graduates and their reflections on high school life.
As you are walking out of your high school graduation, you might be thinking, “I’m finally done!” For 2015 PHS graduate Kate Hamilton, this was only the beginning. Leaving Paoli was hard for Hamilton, as it had been her home for thirteen years. Memories in and out of school were left behind as she started a new phase in life.
Hamilton holds on to her memories of basketball and softball. Dedicating multiple years to the sports, she misses the practices, the feeling before a game and even the workouts.
“I remember honestly enjoying learning, sports and the social aspects of high school. It wasn’t until late in senior year I started anticipating graduation, and I think the urge to graduate and be finished starts much earlier now.”
While at PHS, Hamilton was influenced by many teachers in the building, but most heavily by English teachers Jaye Brewster and Carol Fullington.
“Each really helped to develop my writing skills, which put me quite ahead academically. I’m also close with them both personally since being good friends with their kids and still seek out their advice from time to time. They both helped me with my valedictorian speech at graduation, and have both given me direction in career and major-related decisions more recently,” said Hamilton.
Out of 99 students, Hamilton graduated first, earning her the title of the PHS 2015 Valedictorian. When graduating as valedictorian of your school, high expectations fall on you to be successful. Hamilton most certainly meets these expectations. After much debate, Hamilton chose to attend the University of Southern Indiana (USI) in Evansville to continue her education. Earning a full-ride scholarship as a Presidential Scholar, Hamilton avoided the much dreaded aspect of college: student loans.
“Right now I am a Junior Nursing major, psychology minor at the University of Southern Indiana. I am also a Presidential Scholar and Student Ambassador,” said Hamilton.
Leaving PHS, Hamilton took with her many life lessons she would soon put to use.
“Balance-in everything is crucial. Also, don’t rush into anything. It’s so important to experience the new and the different to discover where and how you can grow into your best self,” said Hamilton.
After anything, you probably think to yourself, “If I had the chance to do that again, I would have done this differently.” After graduation, Hamilton found out some things she wish she had done a little differently along the way.
“I wish I had spent more time doing and less time stalling. There was plenty of time for spontaneity and adventure that I wasted being mundane and routine,” said Hamilton.
As of now, Hamilton is working on finishing up her junior year of college and looks forward to completing her last year at USI. Before she begins her final year, Hamilton is excited to spend a week studying abroad this upcoming summer in Belize. The future is bright for Hamilton, and she is ready for whatever may come her way.
Story by Hunter Hamilton