Typical students do not feel ordinary

At first, freshman Laura V. balked at an interview. She wasn’t typical, she insisted. But, statistically, she was.

“It makes me surprised, because I didn’t know that that’s the typical Kerr student,” Laura said. “I guess that’s how we come together. We connect together in ways we don’t even see.”

A survey of 400 students found the typical Kerr student to be similar to Laura—a ninth-grade Asian girl who is also Roman Catholic; an alumna of Albright Middle School; one who uses Facebook and texting for communication and the computer for schoolwork. The typical Kerr student also tries to be nice, worries about her future, and dismisses conformity as overrated.

“[Conformity]’s dumb,” Laura said. “I’d rather be myself and alone than to put a mask on myself and fit in.”

History teacher Michael McGuckin has been at Kerr since its 1994 opening and believes he has an explanation for Kerr students’ tendency toward student expression.

“We have a community of students and teachers that overlooks the superficial stuff,” he said. “We don’t let differences interfere with our getting to know each other and enjoy each other’s company.”

Being nice is another component of the typical student.

“When kids bump into each other [in the hallway], they don’t curse each other, fights don’t break out,” McGuckin said. “They say ‘excuse me’ and walk on.”

Laura tries to help in her own way.

“I like people coming to me and venting about their problems,” Vu said. “I want to be there for them, as a friend or a best friend.”

She is candid about her faults. “I’m lazy,” she said. “And I procrastinate like there’s no tomorrow.”

Procrastination thrives within these halls. According to librarian Jean Wu, it’s been that way for a long time.

“The kids still like to wait till the last minute,” she said.

Wu, like McGuckin, has seen thousands of students pass in and out of Kerr’s doors. Procrastination, she said, is one thing that has remained the same.

“The eve of something [being] due, they are all in here,” she said.

That is because the typical student also worries about her future.

Freshman Cindy N. is another student who fits many of the criteria for typical student. When asked about her top priority, Nguyen said, “My GPA. I just want to keep that up.”

Cindy worries that she will not be able to get into a good college. Wu says this is a common concern.

“They all want to go to the best schools,” she explained. “They all want to do the best they can.”

Cindy wants to travel the world. Laura dreams of being a psychologist and “an epic violinist.”

For now, however, Cindy sees herself as commonplace.

“My life now is really typical,” she said. “I wake up, go to school, come home, and then the whole thing starts over again.”

Laura is a little more guarded about assessing herself.

“I’m honestly thankful for my life right now,” she said. “I couldn’t be like, ‘It could have been better’ because that’s like saying, ‘It could be worse.’”