Student Profile: Claire Fitzpatrick

Ninety-nine percent of the time a girl admits to being a tomboy, she rationalizes that she was shaped by her brother’s influence. One percent of the time, that girl you’re talking to is like Claire Fitzpatrick – the VHS junior who takes on athletics because her sisters inspired her to.

“My oldest sister Meghan has always been my role model,” Claire asserts. As valedictorian of her high school senior class and soccer player for Bucknell University’s division one team, Meghan sure lights a twinkle in her younger sister’s eyes. Claire describes her admiration for Meghan as an indication of one’s ability to succeed; she also notes that she believes she will “follow in her footsteps.”

And so Claire took her first step toward success at age six, by joining a year-round traveling soccer team. Many of her tournaments were out of state, allowing her time to dribble her way across the landscape of America. Her travels continued beyond the states only once, when she visited Meghan who was studying abroad in Florence, Italy.

Basketball follows alongside her soccer career, though she devotes significantly less energy to improving her skills at the sport. She admits that of the two, “basketball definitely comes more naturally.” Could this effortless athleticism be genetic? After all, both of Claire’s parents played basketball throughout high school. The Fitzpatricks were clearly born to play.

Claire’s tomboyish-flair doesn’t cease to seep through many other aspects of her personality. “Yeah…I didn’t watch those Disney princess movies,” she establishes, with a soft smile. Most would assume a girl who hasn’t immersed herself in Cinderella’s famous love story must be somewhat heartless, even incomplete as a female. However with Claire’s strong sense of her own individuality, she is aware of her ability to thrive beyond the basic mold society creates for girls from the day they are born. Age 0: wear pink. Age 5: play with dolls. Age 17: obsess over social media. Claire said no to all such commands. “I hate technology,” she grunts, “I’d like to live back in the 60s or 70s, when everyone had real conversations.” She is full of twists and turns, just as her dark brown locks suggest, framing her strong-featured face. She enjoys days “full of activities,” days where she’s “never sitting down and getting to do things constantly,” opposite from the majority of her lazy generation. Her high energy mindset of continuous accomplishment reveals just how diligent she really is toward moving onward through life’s perpetually unfolding events. One would think someone of Claire’s nature would find comfort in the fast-paced life of a city, right? Incorrect.

“I want to live in Pennsylvania when I’m older,” she explains, “I’m all about the wide open space of the countryside.” Experiencing what lies beyond suburbia has made Claire mindful of her highest potential as a student and athlete. Despite her general self-understanding, she remains unsure of what she ultimately sees herself doing when she’s older. “I have NO idea,” she confesses, eyes grazing the surfaces surrounding her. Living by her own definition of life, Claire agrees that it matters not what she is doing, it matters simply that she is doing.