BY NOAH CASTAGNA
As Hurricane Hermine tears its way up the Gulf, many former Cooper City High students are making the mad dash to throw up their shutters and stock up on essentials like water, canned foods, and batteries, as well as preparing themselves to make productive use of their time off school.
Hermine took news networks by storm early Thursday afternoon, reaching Category 1 hurricane strength and progressing quickly upon North Florida. In response, Governor Rick Scott ordered government offices in almost 51 counties to close Friday, and many college campuses have followed suit, with colleges like the University of South Florida, Jacksonville University, and the University of Florida all cancelling classes and closing down for the storm.
“My roommate and I went to Publix and stocked up on food to eat if the power goes out and plenty of water. We charged up all our electronics and portables and we’re just making sure we’re avoiding going outside,” CCHS alumni and UF student Erin Donovan said. “Canceling classes allowed us to make sure we have what we need so that was a big help.”
Whereas many are anxiously settling in and bracing for impact, some former CCHS students are preparing for the storm with schoolwork in mind. Many students have found the first weeks of college to be hectic, with the storm providing a well-needed break to relax or catch up on work.
“I’m pretty excited [for Hurricane Hermine],” CCHS alumni and USF student Shahaan Khan said. “It’s an opportunity to get back into the groove of things, to get yourself back on track.”
Meanwhile, in some areas of the state, colleges have remained open, undeterred by the oncoming “end of days.” Of these schools include the University of Central Florida, where school will be resuming as normal, much to many former CCHS students’ dismay. The storm has yet to impede many students’ hopes for the rest of their college year, however.
“[I am] pretty sad, I didn’t want to do the homework I have for my class tomorrow,” joked CCHS alumni and UCF student Megan Tompkins.
“[Still, I’m expecting] straight A’s, good friends, and good times,” Tompkins added.
For those new to the college scene, Hurricane Hermine is a testament to the responsibility CCHS students should expect of the transition between high school and college.
“[College] makes you grow up, a lot,” Tompkins reflected. “You’re the only one responsible now for food, laundry, dishes, cleaning your room, and everything else.”
As for advice offered up in light of the incoming Hermine, CCHS alumni Shahaan Khan had much to say.
“Do extracurriculars, get into a cause,” Khan said. “Most importantly, make an effort to get to know people, and get ready to bunker down in your dorm with a bunch of friends, [because] you’re gonna be stuck in there for a while.”