Life As A Military Kid

Sophomore Ella Ferns describes the effects of moving a lot from a young age

Adrianna Malena, Reporter

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This HHS student has experienced more relocations than the average high school student. 

Sophomore Ella Ferns has attended over ten different schools along the east coast because of her father’s occupation in the military. These memories gathered from each school impact and influence who she is as a person today, and have led her to be more ambitious when trying new things.

Aside from Hershey, Ferns has attended schools from Trantwood Elementary in Virginia Beach, to West Annapolis Elementary in Annapolis, Maryland. Some schools were especially unique, such as Orange Hunt Elementary in Virginia. Orange Hunt is a German immersion school, meaning that some teachers speak German to their students, immersing them into a different culture and language. Many students who attended this school weren’t American; some were German or Dutch.

Ferns said, “I loved Orange Hunt. In fact, I met one of my best friends Nora there. I would have never learned Dutch if I didn’t meet her, which goes to show that even if I move around a lot, I can still keep connections and friendships that will develop my character as a person.”

Which then led to the question: how can you maintain friendships from moving around so much and always being the “new kid”?

Ferns simply said, “It’s hard to keep all my friends that I meet from each school, but technology has made it a lot easier. For example, I can follow them on Instagram or talk to them on Snapchat to keep up from time to time. However, I guess it isn’t the same as talking in person.”

This introduced the negative impact that moving a lot has had on Ferns, however, she believes that there are more positives than negatives. Some positives are that she always has a clean slate and is able to meet new people.

With moving comes new adventures, in Ferns’s opinion. For example, she attempts to try new things everywhere she goes and be as involved as possible. As a result of this, Ferns has played many sports. Some of them being soccer, lacrosse, swimming, gymnastics, cheer, and tennis. Her favorite sport that she still plays is lacrosse which was introduced to her in Orange Hunt. 

Ferns said, “I love all the sports and activities that I have tried, and I’m grateful to have gotten to try them. However, if I had to pick a favorite it would be lacrosse because I just really enjoy playing it, and I have become good friends with my teammates and coaches as well.”

Aside from sports, Ferns has also explored the arts. She has learned how to play the piano, violin, ukulele, and clarinet. Along with knowing how to speak a little Dutch, German and Korean. She learned to play the piano from a young age and developed her skills for the violin and clarinet in Springfield, Virginia, at Orange Hunt, and later taught herself the ukulele. In addition to playing instruments, Ferns also found herself interested in musical theatre, participating in plays such as Rock of Ages, a jukebox musical about 80’s music.

“Since I was new all the time, I wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to make friends and memories. By giving myself this opportunity, I was able to meet people who have the same interests as me,” said Ferns.

Right now at HHS, Ferns’s favorite class is sports and entertainment. Ferns has also gotten involved in the “HYCA” club and the lacrosse team here at Hershey.

In the future, Ferns would love to go to college. Her dream school is The University of North Carolina, however, she still has no idea what she would want to study, as many students don’t at her age. 

Through moving from state to state, Ferns has gathered experiences and passions that have helped shape her into who she is today.

“If It weren’t for my dad’s job relocating a lot and without experiencing everything that I have, I know I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I’m so grateful for that,” says Ferns.

Ferns smiles outside during lunch at HHS. Ferns sported her jersey that she wore on the Senior Night football game on October 5, 2019. (Broadcaster/Adrianna Malena).