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Nicole Flanders, Senior, Orestimba High

Parents: Carolina and Raymond Flanders

Born in: Modesto

Favorite subject: History

Favorite teacher(s): Mr. Powell, Mr. Loo, Mrs. Garcia, Mrs. White, whole Social Studies Department

Favorite Food: In-N-Out

Favorite superhero: Black Widow

Favorite app: Instagram

Words to live by: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

Favorite artist(s): Elton John, The Beatles

Last book read: “Cyrano de Bergerac,” by Edmond Rostand

Hobbies: Watching Netflix and YouTube, reading and cooking/baking

Nicole is a senior at Orestimba High who like many others has not experienced the senior year she envisioned due to the pandemic.

Her first semester of distance learning, she said, has been challenging in terms of motivation and attention span while in her classes.

“In the beginning I was very motivated and just ready to go every morning of school,” Nicole told Mattos Newspapers. “But now I just feel that it is slightly harder to keep that motivation due to not being in the classroom.

She has also learned to cope with the challenging circumstances.

“With homework, when I got frustrated I learned to take time away from it and then come back to it, and also to not be afraid to ask questions,” Nicole stated. “I also learned to not be angry about everything happening, and I really had to step back and give thanks and be happy about all my friends and family being healthy, which is important right now.”

At Orestimba, Nicole is involved in sports, playing volleyball and tennis, and is also involved in Student Council.

She has missed the opportunity to play her sports and to make those memories during her final year of high school.

But, Nicole said, if sports were to return soon she would give it a while before returning just to be cautious and put herself at ease.

As part of the Student Council, Nicole said, keeping the student body engaged with school activities has been difficult at times due to school activities being virtual.

But as time went by, she shared, the Student Council added dress up days and a virtual homecoming which caught the attention of students. She also revealed that Orestimba and Gustine are planning a virtual rivalry week which student leaders at each school hope will have extensive student participation.

Nicole hopes to attend UC Berkeley or UCLA, and plans to major in political science and minor in history.

The major reflects a desire to help others, as well as a love of law and politics, she said, and her interest in history goes hand-in-hand with learning from the past of other nations what actions not to repeat in the United States.

Her parents and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg were inspirations for her, Nicole shared.

As she prepares to depart Orestimba High in a few months, Nicole offers advise for younger students.

“Take each year one at a time. Enjoy being a freshman and a sophomore and make sure to soak it all in because before you know it you'll be getting ready to graduate.”