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February Student of the Month: Julia Hoffman

Julia Lyn Hoffman, 19, of Sterling is one of Sterling High School’s February Students of the Month. She is the daughter of Tiffany and Todd Purdy, and she has a sister, Payton.

Favorite class: AP studio art. In that class, unlike others, you have the freedom to express yourself within the artwork that you make. You cannot show the world who you really are in a calculus problem. 

Least-favorite class: English. However, it’s not the English teachers’ fault. I personally struggle with English the most because of my mental disabilities. To summarize, I am diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified), which makes living a normal day-to-day life more difficult for me. My communication skills with others, when I was younger, were what I struggled with the most. I even had to take speaking classes every day, during the school week, until seventh grade. Therefore, I just naturally struggle with English based on my past struggles. 

Favorite teacher: Jordan Johnson, my sophomore English teacher. She helped me understand English in general and encouraged me to start reading books again. I stopped reading after elementary school because I lost motivation to read for fun.

School activities you participate in: Golf, track and field, National Honor Society and Scholastic Bowl.

Do you have a job? I work on my family farm by feeding, cleaning, and taking care of horses, cows, chickens, turkeys, and other animals.

How would you describe your group of friends? Generous, quirky, fun, and intelligent.

What will you do after high school? I am going to Northern Illinois University in DeKalb to major in chemistry.

What is something you learned in high school that you think you’ll never use? Unless I decide to become a geometry teacher, I don’t believe that the majority of the stuff that I learned in accelerated geometry will be useful to me anytime soon.  

What kind of music are you listening to? Queen, Panic At the Disco, Lady Gaga, Jeffree Star, Billie Eilish and Imagine Dragons. Listening to music helps me focus while completing my homework and makes me feel better when feeling depressed or stressed.

What is your advice for surviving high school? Do not feel like you have to be perfect with everything you do, or ace every single test. You will mentally drain your happiness and your sanity away if you are too hard on yourself. Try to live the moment instead of always being worried about your future. 

If you could try any job for the day, what would it be? I have loved going to the zoo ever since I was a little kid. Working at one would be a lot of fun.

If you could go anywhere in the world for free, where would it be? Hawaii, because it is a beautiful, warm tropical paradise, unlike Illinois. It would be an awesome trip that I would never forget.

What is a good book you have read recently? “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker.

What is your proudest moment? When I learned how to cope with my Persuasive Developmental Disorder.

Who is your hero or role model? My mom is the best mom in the whole universe, and I love her very much.

What is your life’s philosophy? Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.

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