Helia Hansen, staff writer

Lainey Maniak, copy editor

For the last two years, staff writer Helia Hansen has gifted the Zephyrus classroom with her soothing presence. A talented writer and truly kind person, her interests are just as exciting as her plans for life after high school. 

Outside of class, Helia spends her time on the Alpine Ski team, working at Paper Source, and watching television. “Breaking Bad” is a recent favorite, but cartoons are her go-to classics. “I always am down to watch ‘My Little Pony,’” she said. “I’m guilty of [hating Twilight Sparkle], she’s just annoying to me, but sometimes I feel like she’s misunderstood. Maybe.” 

After leaving her grudge against Twilight Sparkle in the past, Helia spent the last year looking toward the future. She’s a dual citizen and plans to take a gap year in Germany once she’s finished with senior year. “I’m going to Germany ‘cause all of my family lives there basically, and it’s really common for people to take a gap year so my parents were really supportive of it,” she said. “I still applied to colleges but my acceptances weren’t exactly what I wanted.” 

Taking a gap year is a bit unconventional for Edina, and Helia notes the pressure to attend college as a source of worry over the past year. “It’s a little nerve-wracking because like everybody in my grade is super focused [on college], like this whole year has been focused basically on ‘Where are you going? What are your post-secondary plans? Where did you get accepted, where did you get rejected?’ And that puts a lot of unnecessary stress [on students]…I feel a little weird…doing something completely different because Edina is like a college prep school,” she said. “I don’t want to go somewhere just to force myself to go to a four-year institution and then wind up back home in October.” 

Ultimately the positives overcame the pressure she felt, and Helia is excited to break out of the Edina mold once she graduates. “There’s no boundaries, you really can do anything. That’s why it’s good, it’ll give me a steady start to my after-high-school life.”

This piece was originally published in Zephyrus’ print edition on May 18, 2023.