The Life of a Senior: Harley Erdman

Katelyn Billat

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Life as a high school senior is all sorts of exciting, but there are many things that make it stressful. It’s almost as if you don’t have time for anything you have to do. From figuring out college, work schedules, saving money, keeping up your grades, or other personal responsibilities; to the fun things like prom, senior pictures, activities, and spending time with friends. Life almost seems impossible to balance. For high school senior of 2019, Harley Erdman, this is all true.

Harley Erdman is a seventeen-year-old, soon-to-be 2019 graduate of Austin High. Her life is anything but boring. Managing her life takes a lot of effort and a lot of stress. Sometimes she has to sacrifice doing things, for other more important things. She is a PSEO student at Riverland Community College. She is currently taking her secondyear of cosmetology. This means for half of her school day, she is at the High school taking her required courses. For the other half, she is at the college studying cosmetology. Then after college, she usually has to spend the rest of her day, working at Walmart. At the college, she learns to give manicures, pedicures, and put fake nails on clients. She is learning how to give SRTs and cut hair. An SRT is a relaxing scalp massage and a hair treatment. She is learning how to style it in many different ways. For fun, she enjoys practicing hairstyles, glam makeup as well as gory, special effects makeup.

Showing off her skills with special effects make up.


For Harley, being a PSEO student has many advantages, but even more disadvantages. She is grateful for the opportunity to get her college course done early, but at the same time, she is disappointed that she often cannot participate in the school’s activities, as they usually happen during the second half of the day. She explains that she struggles getting the information she needs due not be able to go to the assemblies for things like graduation gowns and caps, and scholarships.  She says that she usually has to go through multiple different people, usually teachers to find out things. It’s especially difficult because she does not have a homeroom to find out information. She enjoys being a senior though for the fact that she has a lot more freedom. The teachers respect you, and you know how the school works. You know how all the teachers are and what the building is like because you’ve been there so long. She thinks most of our class has senioritis already. She says, “It is apparent that we are all exhausted and tired of being here. We just want to graduate already.”

When I asked her if she will miss any about the high school, she responded with, “My head is telling me no, this place is bogus. But I know that this is where I get most of my social interactions and I have known everyone since 6th grade, some even earlier than that.” She told me that she should miss some of the teachers, and her friends the most.

She just recently got her senior pictures done. What she has to say about it: “It was awesome!”  She got them done by Easton Green. She got a family discount because her family has been friends with him for many years. She tells me that she was really nervous about it because she usually doesn’t feel comfortable in front of a camera, but she was comfortable with him. She tells me they turned out amazing. The first picture above is one of them. They did both glam pictures and special effects pictures. They went to an abandoned house for the gore ones and she says it was really creepy. “He took some of me, putting the special effects makeup on. It reminded me of those old pictures of the actresses putting their makeup on.”

After high school, she plans on continuing her education in cosmetology. She plans on finishing in a year and a half, then finding a job, and eventually take an airbrush makeup class. She plans on getting a traveling license so that she can work outside of a salon. Everyone tells her that she has a great teaching ability, so they want me to eventually get a license for instructing cosmetology.  “I’ve had it all planned out since I was in third grade.” She explains, “I always knew that I was going to be a cosmetologist. Point blank.”

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