By Lizzie Manowitz
As the new school year begins and summer comes to an end, it is nice to reflect on what exciting things Byram Hills students did during the summer. Despite the challenges and safety concerns of Covid-19, many still managed to enjoy their summer working, traveling, playing sports, spending time with friends and family, or even completing research.
For Byram Hills science research seniors, this summer was extremely busy as each was tasked with completing his/her own authentic study. Considering that Seniors were unable to travel to their mentor’s lab, many were forced to adapt, designing entirely new studies that could be done remotely. Despite these challenges, the students prevailed, still managing to produce extraordinarily impressive work. Science research Senior Olivia Canter shares, “I had an amazing time with my science research study. I am studying how telomere length is correlated with lifespan in Japanese quails. It is so cool to learn about the aging process.” For science research students, completing their own studies was extremely exciting!
Fortunately, like Olivia, Senior Lorraine DiSano was also able to complete her study, in which she looked at the “different factors that mitigate in kennel stress behaviors for shelter dogs.” Apart from her research, Lorraine shares, “I still was able to make the most of the summer through learning how to surf, hanging out with friends (socially distanced), playing softball, and taking a trip to the Hamptons.”
Senior Tessa Schwartz, another member of the science research program, also had an interesting summer experience working remotely on her study while staying with her Grandma in the Hamptons. She comments, “It has been very difficult to adapt to the pandemic and not be able to work in the lab, but with the help of my mentor and a graduate student I was able to rework the whole study from home.” When she wasn’t busy with science research, Tessa “worked two jobs at a retail store and a restaurant” and spent time relaxing by the pool. While it was difficult for science research Seniors to not work in a physical lab, they all rose to the occasion and found effective solutions with the help of their mentors. They also recognize the silver linings of having more quality time with family and friends and free time to try new activities or relax at the beach.
Aside from science research, Byram students kept themselves busy with their jobs, sports, and other fun summer activities. Sophomore Ava Monaco, comments that she “worked at a gift shop and at her aunt’s office” throughout the summer. On the weekends, she spent time in the Hamptons. Along with other local beaches, the Hamptons provided a great place for a nice and relaxing family getaway. This was especially significant considering how challenging long distance travel was due to the pandemic. Freshman Nicolette DiSano shares that “due to COVID, [her] family was unable to go on [their annual] summer trip.” She explains, “we were supposed to go to Italy, but instead we traveled to the Hamptons and got to do water sports there.” But hey, the Hamptons aren’t too bad!
Many Byram Hills students kept active throughout the summer by playing sports and taking part in other outdoor activities like swimming and hiking. Freshmen Jack Canter says, “over the summer, I played sports like soccer, basketball and tennis. I also went to the pool and played with my dogs.” Spending time outside and getting involved in sports is always a fun way to spend the summer months!
Overall, students at Byram Hills managed to have a great summer despite the limitations of the pandemic. Whether they were doing research, working, playing sports or relaxing by the beach, it is safe to say that Byram students enjoyed a few months of summer fun. Though it is exciting to start a new school year after being away for so long, it is also a bit sad to see the summer come to an end.