The Student News Site of South Lyon East High School

Beast News

The Student News Site of South Lyon East High School

Beast News

The Student News Site of South Lyon East High School

Beast News

Friends From Far Away Places


Four girls, four lifestyles, four different states. But one question, How do they live their lives?   

Corinne Perriard- San Francisco, California

Corinne Perriard at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA.

Corinne Perriard, a junior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep, may not live her life with the Tanners from Full House or eat crabs every night for dinner, but she does live a pretty exciting life in her hometown of San Francisco, California.

Perriard exclaimed almost jumping out of her chair, “I love San Francisco! I love living here. I’ve noticed that so much more this year, but there is so much to do. I feel super free here, like I can go anywhere. There is always so much to do and experience.”

Corinne often spends time exploring the huge, diverse area and enjoys every minute of  expedition in the famous Bay City. “If it’s a nice day, I like going out and exploring the city. It [the day] would probably end watching the sunset because I love going to the beach to watch the sunset, I do that a lot on weekends with my friends. I’d probably go to like Fisherman’s Wharf and In-and-Out [ a popular restaurant chain on the west coast of the USA]. I would love to go to Chestnut street [a popular marina shopping district near Perriard’s home] too.”

The mysterious and exciting atmosphere described by Corinne also connects to the atmosphere created by the people who live in San Francisco.

“Generally, there are a lot of pretty passionate people here that are more or less aware of what’s going on. They’re like super democratic and opinionated. There has been like 100 [anti] Trump rallies and protests in the streets. There has also been a lot of school walkouts and stuff,” explained Perriard.

“We’re a very diverse school. We have like all different types of people and everyone’s pretty friendly with each other. I never get the vibes of being really judged at my school, so I really feel welcome everyday,” Corinne clarifies to show the diversity seen not just throughout the city, but at her school too.

75 degrees, sunny with minimal clouds, salty ocean air wherever you go; this is the weather California is known for. Which means, frankly, no snow.

Corinne said, “We don’t get out for snow like ever, like I don’t know what it’s like to have a snow day. There was like a super big heat wave that came through earlier this year where it was like 100 degrees, and none of our classrooms have air conditioning so we were all dying, but we never like got out of school or anything.”

In October of 2017, wildfires swept through Northern California. Corinne and her family were lucky enough that they didn’t have to evacuate, but their day to day lives were affected.

She remembered the scary months, “We still had school during the fires; everything was the same except for the sports teams, who were not allowed to play, but the classes were all the same. We did keep all the windows closed and stuff but I have a friend that goes to school in Marin, which is closer to the fires, so her school was totally canceled. Since we were far enough [away from the fire], we still had school.”

“The environment at school isn’t stressful, but the workload can get like super stressful. It’s probably just the stress of junior year,” Corinne said frantically after remembering she had lot of homework to do before class.

“I do know, our rival school, has more work than us, but I think that we have less work than Convent, another school in the area. So we’re kind of in the middle between the two schools, I would never say we had a lack of work though,” explained Corinne.


Ella Montgomery- Valparaiso, Indiana

Ella Montgomery at Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso, IN

“Indiana is Indiana,” said Ella Montgomery, a freshman at Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Indiana.

“I’ve lived in Indiana my whole life so I know a lot about Indiana and the cornfields that surround us and all the construction that is always going on. I think it’s cool living in northwest Indiana because then you can go and make fun trips to Chicago and go on the dunes, so you’re not far from anywhere fun,” remarked Ella after her bleak explanation of life in Indiana.

Although mellow about her excitement of living in Valpo, Ella lives anything but a mellow life.

Ella puts her day into focus,”My life in high school is very busy. I get up at six and school starts at 7:30 and we have 50 minute classes so it’s pretty much the same going through your day. I’m on the Gymnastics team too, so we practice three hours a day and six days a week, so that’s a lot. Plus I have things outside of school too. It’s fun, but it’s a lot.”

Montgomery may spend 18 hours a week at gymnastics practice, but school work comes first in Indiana.

“People at our school push for better grades all the time and all A’s. It stresses us out when we get like one bad test,” Ella mumbles and rolls her eyes at her disapproval of her peers at VHS.

The emphasis on perfection when it comes to school work does come with a price for Ella and all of her peers at school.

“It [Ella’s mood] depends on the day and how other people are reacting. If my friends are in a positive mood than it helps me to stay positive and be in a better mood overall…but if they are complaining and they seem stressed out, then it’s gonna stress me out. With all my stuff piled on after school, stressing out is not good so I try and stay positive but it doesn’t always happen,” Montgomery says about her stress monitor throughout her day.

With Montgomery’s hectic schedule and the often tons of lake-effect snow that northwest Indiana receives, it sounds like a perfect set-up for a snow day. Unfortunately, Ella says that they don’t get a lot of snow days, especially this year.

Ella sighs in disappointment,”Sometimes we’ll get a snow day, but not very often. We have gotten a lot of two hour delays this year because of snow in the mornings though.”

“If there is one thing that I’ve learned so far in high school is that, there are a few exceptions to every rule of course, but people don’t care about anything unless it has to do with themselves. Although, if someone really had a problem there are always people that you can talk to and they’ll keep whatever you need them to keep,” Ella mourns about the atmosphere the students at Valparaiso High School create as she recedes in her chair.

According to Ella, the people that live in Indiana also vary in personality,“I feel like people in Indiana have a small gray area. There are some people who are really nice and there are some who are very stuck up, and only care about how much money they have and what they can do and others can’t, but there is a gray area or middle ground with the people here.”


Karli Sedergran- Spanish Fort, Alabama

Karli Sedergran at the beach in Destin, FL

Although she’s not sitting at the beach and soaking in the warm 90 degree sun everyday after school, Karli Sedergran, sophomore at Spanish Fort High School in Spanish Fort, Alabama, is living a pretty calm and cool life in the deep south.

“I would say that everyone down here is really nice and have southern accents. If I go to other places they aren’t as nice and don’t smile when you smile at them and people down here are good about that; I love the people a lot. It’s super warm and I love it; I love the weather and going to the beach,” says Karli about her life in the Yellowhammer state.

The people may be super nice and friendly in Alabama, but that’s not stopping the stereotypes of the people who live in the deep south states.  Sedergran addresses the stereotypes.

“Here everyone is like super into religion and stuff like that. It’s so true. When I go up north it’s so different. A majority of people here are like hard core Christian. It’s all super true. I don’t think we have one Muslim person or Jewish person at our school, to be honest. That’s crazy,” Sedergran comments about the almost uneclectic variety of people at SFHS.

With the current president, Donald Trump, there has been lots of political talk in Alabama, according to Karli, “Another thing down here, everyone is like obsessed with Trump. Everyone; obsessed. They have like Trump stickers on the back of their car and the big old American flags hanging off of them. Literally if anyone breaks out any type of politics, they’re like ‘Trump! Trump! Make America Great Again!’ I’m not even political at all and I’m thinking Oh My.”

One thing Alabama is known for is the weather. Whether it’s the humidity, the smoldering heat, or the lack of snowfall; Alabama is no stranger to an almost paradise sounding climate.

Karli said,“We had two snow days a couple weeks ago. But, no it doesn’t really affect our school because we did have those two snow days but those are really the only two snow days like ever. It’s because people down here don’t know how to drive on the icy roads and it scares everyone so we literally got two days off for no snow at all.”

With the lack of winter, many people may think that there is always something to do down there. According to Sedergran, they would be wrong, “I like to hangout with friends and get food with people, that’s pretty much all I do. In Spanish Fort, there isn’t a lot to do, it’s pretty boring. We just don’t have anything to do. You can go and get food and, go to the movies and that’s about it. I do like to go to Gulf Shores and go to the beach though.”

“I would describe school as very stressful because I have lots of homework and tests that I don’t have time for. I also have tennis which takes up a lot of time. In the beginning of the year I wasn’t all that stressed out, but now i’m like super stressed out,” said Karli about her workload and stress during the school year, as she almost forgets her French test tomorrow.

Academics may be a big deal for Karli, but she says that the rest of her school is just not focused on academics.

“It’s very sports oriented. It’s very competitive and sports are kind of everything. Academics are kinds of down here and sports are kind of up here. The atmosphere in it [school] is basically basketball game tonight, football game tomorrow and pep rally and on and on. So not as much academics,” Karli comments about the sense of need that student feel to play a sport in Alabama.

“Also there is a ton of recruitment for sports here. We’ve gotten so many new kids who just come here for sports and they say like recruitment isn’t allowed and they don’t do it but we all know they do. I just got two new neighbors and one is in my grade and the other is a freshman and both play basketball and football. One of them is the new quarterback. They don’t say it but they totally recruited them, like they’re paying for them to live here,” sighs Karli as she frowns at the school’s emphasis on sports.

With the real pressure on sports teams and less stress on academics described by Sedergran, the school has offered different routes for a student’s graduation.

“We offer about four AP classes. We have two diplomas you can graduate on, you can graduate on the Alabama’s diploma or  the CP diploma,which means that you’ve taken all honors and all AP classes. Last year, only four people graduated with that diploma so only four people took all AP and passed to graduate. I’m on it right now. AP isn’t even an option at our school until Junior year and Senior year, you can only take honors. I’ve also heard that we’re like one year behind in math and stuff,” Sedergran explains the type of academics that Spanish Fort offers.


Farah Elrakhawi- Garden City, New York

Farah Elrakhawi at Central Park in New York City, NY 

Shopping on Fifth avenue, reading up on modern art at the Metropolitan museum, and exploring the backstreets of the city, sounds like a dream to anyone.

But almost 33 minutes from one of the most famous cities in the world, Farah Elrakhawi, sophomore at Garden City High School, lives a more stressful and hectic life,“I would describe my life in high school as stressful. Plain and simple. High school generally is stressful for a lot of students, but being in New York, where daily life is 10,000 times more stressful than it is anywhere else in the world, makes it that much more challenging.”

Farah isn’t the only student who feels the stress of high school in Garden City,“Everyone is always on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Like in class people are like pulling their hair out and keep saying ‘I don’t have time’. It’s crazy. My break class, isn’t even a break. Everyone looks like they’re about to cry. It’s insane.”  

She elaborates, “It’s a misconception that New Yorkers are super mean. I think that they are just stressed and overworked. Everyone is just so on edge of blowing up. So they won’t talk to you because they’re gonna blow up. So that means it’s easier to just put in headphones and walk fast and get to your place and do what you gotta do instead of socializing.”

According to Elrakhawi, this stress on students affects the overall atmosphere of the school, and not for the better. The weight put on the students everyday at school causes them to turn to things that might take some off.

“My town is notorious for having a big drinking culture. Almost all the people at my school that I know drink excessively which, I think, leads to even more stress that just adds on to the already insane amount of stress we as students are dealing with. Almost everyone cheats here. To be able to pass a class you have to cheat. The amount of stress here for tests and quizzes is insane. We have tests here like crazy,” sighs Farah.

“I do soccer, volleyball, and track. I do three seasons of sports. I don’t have an off season really with winter and spring track. Everyday after school is practice and games and no free time. I also do Miracle Club which is a cancer foundation club and you raise money and hang out with cancer kids. I’m also in Student Council,” Farah says after gasping for air after listing all of her extra curricular activities. Not to mention the hours of homework she does every night!

Farah’s course load can only be described using two words; a lot,“I also chose to give up my lunch to add another AP course in my schedule which has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve probably made because it’s so much work. My course load is kind of excessive and each course that I’m taking is super rigorous and challenging and to me that’s the hardest part of school. Trying to find a balance between time to shower and finish my homework is a constant struggle and I always find myself sleeping at 3 or 4 in the morning.”

Of course there are always times that Farah and her friends can enjoy living next to The Big Apple,“We would all meet at my house and get ready and then walk to the train station. We would have a city day and walk around Central Park and maybe go see a Broadway show if we’re feeling it and splurge.

“We would go to SoHo and do some shopping. If the Rockefeller tree is up then we’ll go and see that. If it’s winter then we’ll go ice skating and go see a movie. It’s fun. If we’re feeling super touristy then we’ll go to the one World Trade Center and then to the 9/11 museum. It’s so fun. You’ll never be bored,” Farah said as she describes her perfect weekend with friends.

One thing that New York is known for is the crazy cold winter weather, but according to Farah, weather isn’t a big factor in her school life,“About once or twice a year will have a really bad snow blizzard and then school be canceled for two days maybe three days it just depends on if the blizzard falls on a school day.”

But we get snow days here and there and if we don’t get a snow day, especially if the roads aren’t clear by the time school starts , which is at 7:40, (I know, crazy super, super early; it’s ridiculous) we’ll get a delayed opening which is 2 hours of extra sleep!”



All of these girls live very different and interesting lives in high school. Some more stressful, but some calm. There are so many differences that separate all of these girls’ lives. Each fantasizes about what it would be like to attend school in a different state. Here’s the question, would you give up your life in Michigan for life in a new state?




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