By Aidan Sheedy, Staff Writer
It takes a special person to truly love learning. Senior Lydia Brutvan is no exception. From a young age, she showed many signs of a bright future. It’s safe to say, she has done everything possible to reach her true potential.
Lydia started her school career from the comfort of her couch, and in some ways, ended there as well. She was homeschooled by her parents until middle school. Transitioning into middle school, “was the biggest shock of my life” she says, “I thought I was prepared. I thought I knew what [middle school] was like, but you never really know until you’re in it.”
There were plenty of things to be excited about and things to be wary about for Lydia in a school environment. Most notably, the social aspect of school. “Playing my instrument with other people was a good change,” she says, “but things like middle school lunch remains one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences that anyone will ever go through. I remember my first day in the cafeteria; my knees were shaking.”
After surviving middle school, Lydia flourished right away in high school. Throughout all four years, she has been a part of more than 10 extracurricular activities in sports, music, social issues, STEM, and arts. In the sports world, we’d call her a five-tool player. Lydia doesn’t necessarily do all this for her college applications, she does it for, “all the extra things as a school,” she says, “it makes everything that much better. Whether it’s concerts, class field trips, club parties, or even performing in the courtyard.”
However, what Lydia is most proud of in her high school career is her achievements in the water. As a member of the varsity girls swim team and 3 other club teams since 7th grade, Lydia has built quite a résumé for herself. After all those years swimming, the 2017 Section IX Championship still lives vividly in her head. It was the first Section IX title for New Paltz Girls Swimming ever.
“It was historical,” she says, “We went into the meet not even thinking that winning was a possibility. I still remember waiting and watching the judges tally up the points. When they finally announced it, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier or more proud.”
Lydia made more than her fair share of the points for New Paltz in the finals, placing 2nd overall in the 200-Yard IM, and 6th overall in the 100-Yard Backstroke. Lydia has cherished this performance ever since. “Knowing that I played a part and helped in a win like that was the best feeling in the world.”
In the future, Lydia hopes to major in Environmental law to someday be an environmental lawyer. She recently gained lots of experience in the field (pun intended) from an internship at the New Paltz branch of the Department of Environmental Conservation. “It was so awesome,” she exclaims, “I even got to sit in on a private trial” That trial was the moment Lydia knew what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She remembers telling herself, “That’s it! That’s what I want to do!”
But before Lydia can start her career, she needs to go to college first. Lydia will be attending Wesleyan University and swimming for the school as well. As many of us on social media can tell, Lydia cannot contain her excitement. She describes the school as a “super academic school that’s still full of fun-loving people, which is perfect for me.”
Just like many young athletes and musicians, your parents are a big influence on you and your performance. “My mom has been my chauffeur for 10 years now and she’s always so supportive of me constantly trying new things. She was definitely more excited than I was when I got my driver’s license.”
Her dad also played a part, no smaller than the chauffeur. “My dad always helps me with whatever I’m training for. Whether it’s for a triathlon, swim meet, or track meet, he does whatever he can to help. He comes with me on long runs and bike rides and brings snacks and water. I am very grateful for them both.”
Another person in Lydia’s life she could not live without is her twin brother Riley. “Going to school with a twin is a very unique experience,” she says, “it’s great because no matter what kind of day I’m having, you know there’s always someone you can go to. On the other hand, I’m always referred to as so-and-so’s sister; and any sibling knows this. Thankfully, Riley and I are very different.”
Leaving high school, Lydia wants to thank all the teachers, coaches, and friends that have been with her for the whole ride. In terms of a legacy, “I want people to remember me as a well-rounded person that takes pride in the many, many activities I am a part of, and not attached to just one thing.”
Featured Photo: Provided by Lydia Brutvan