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The club must go on

As seniors prepare to graduate, questions are raised about both their futures and the futures of the extracurriculars they leave behind. After speaking with leaders of three respective clubs, it’s easy to have hope in these passions being pursued beyond June 5.

Wellness Club:

Between planning school events to mitigate stress or even just addressing that it exists, Wellness Club Board Member Meryn Vick ’24 works to implement a healthy work-life balance at South. Vick, a second year member of the club and one of the three seniors forming the club’s board, believes that wellness is a word that covers many things.

Wellness Club Board Member Meryn Vick ’24 is a second year member of the club and one of the three seniors forming the club’s board,.

“For us, wellness is all about recognizing the importance of emotional, physical and mental well-being and implementing skills and habits that promote a healthy lifestyle,” Vick said. “In this, we recommend that students take breaks from their homework or phones and find something more relaxing to do like going for a walk or hanging out with friends. Anything that gives the brain a break.”

After a slower start to this year’s wellness activities due to the former leader graduating, Vick and her fellow board members have ensured that next year will run smoothly.

“That’s also why we’ve taken precautions for the future. We have three seniors on the board: Addie Waller ’24, Millie Gates ’24 and myself, as well as two sophomores, Alya Augspurger ’26 and Verona Relan ’26, who will ensure the continuation of the club,” Vick said. “Our team is also planning for Wellness opportunities next fall so that the change in leadership doesn’t affect the club’s ability to start again next year.”

All in all, Vick believes Wellness Club is a place for community-building and the development of important skills.

“The most rewarding part has been the joy I’ve seen in response to our activities,” Vick said. “Hearing how much people are looking forward to seeing therapy dogs or plant therapy makes me feel like we’re positively impacting people’s well-being and bringing to light the importance of mental health.”

Save the Lakes Club:

Since joining Save the Lakes Club her sophomore year, Hannah Przybylski ’24 knew she wanted to step up and lead the club her senior year. Przybylski, though always having been passionate about the environment, was unable to join during her freshman year due to COVID-19.

Save the Lakes Club co president Hannah Przybylski ’24, talks about all kinds of environmental things and tries bringing awareness to topics that may be going on in Michigan or around the country.

Now, Przybylski leads conversations that start with the club’s namesake and stretch to all facets of the environmental crisis.

“While we are called Save the Lakes, we really talk about all kinds of environmental things. I have tried to spread this by simply bringing awareness to topics that may be going on in Michigan or around the country,” Przybylski said. “I feel like a lot of people don’t always know about environmental concerns going on, so it’s important we can all learn to spread awareness.”

In college, Przybylski plans to major in this area and has enjoyed becoming more acquainted with the subject matter through this club.

“Since I want to go into environmental science this club has been a good thing to write about in essays and resumes,” Przybylski said.

Next year, Przybylski is passing the torch to juniors who would like to continue to run the club, which she says is an opportunity to learn about things you wouldn’t necessarily do in courses.

“I don’t think many of the classes here are going to be talking about the environment and ways to live more sustainably, so I feel this club is a nice outlet,” Przybylski said. “We also talk about ways you can help and things to get involved in. It gives you different experiences and knowledge. You also get to meet new people.”

Jazz Band:

After playing the drums for seven years and forming an essential part of South’s rhythm section, Matthew Chalut ’24 being captain of the Jazz Band isn’t a huge surprise. Chalut, though not majoring in music in his upcoming years in college, wants to continue his passion through ensembles and smaller groups.

Playing the drums for seven years and Matthew Chalut ’24 is the captain of the Jazz Band. (Jules Kado ’24)

Despite the challenges of working with what is considered to be a more refined art form, Chalut’s growth, along with that of his bandmates, have led to individual and team awards, such as the “Outstanding Section for Class AA” award and Chalut’s “Outstanding Drummer for Class AA” award.

“Much like learning another language, jazz is a difficult and different music genre than most others,” Chalut said. “Despite being initially overwhelming, I have spent a long time trying to understand every aspect of this music in my own terms, which has allowed me to grasp difficult musical concepts. I have grown immensely as a musician and as a learner from my many years of practicing jazz.

In the bigger picture, Chalut believes that opportunities like this also serve as great places for social endeavors.

“Jazz is an incredibly powerful medium from which social connections can be made. Most jazz musicians have respect for one another, and through the several jazz communities I have found myself in, my confidence and communication skills have flourished,” Chalut said. “I once went up to a trio of jazz musicians playing in New York and because of our mutual connection to jazz, they let me sit in and play the drums with them. Experiences like that are incredibly unique and also incredibly beautiful.”

A captain for the upcoming school year hasn’t been chosen yet. However, Chalut sees talent in many freshmen and also in veteran players.

“Jazz can be thought of similarly to a team sport; everybody is important, and for the whole group to be successful, every single member must put in a lot of work,” Chalut said. “This teamwork aspect has forced me to collaborate intensively with others and has given me a very rewarding feeling for the work I and the rest of the members put in.”

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Jules Kado '24
Jules Kado '24, Web Editor
For Jules Kado ’24, writing for The Tower has been a long time coming. Ever since she was a child, Kado has had a passion for writing. “I would carry around a little notebook with me when I was a kid and write down little stories,” Kado said. “So when I got to South, I knew journalism was definitely for me.” Kado has enjoyed writing for The Tower so much that she now plans to explore a future in journalism. She also hopes to one day become a published writer. Now in her second year on staff, Kado is taking on the role of web editor, a position she is very excited to try out. Kado is extremely confident that there are more doors than wheels in the world.

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