About Vivian

By: Vivian Shillingsburg

When someone asks me to tell them about myself, I always have to think about it. It’s not that I don’t know what to say or that I don’t like talking about myself, but I never know where to start. I am the type of person who either will go on and on about every little thing that I’ve ever done or just tell them the basics and not go into detail. This is going to be one of those “every little thing” stories. 

I was born in Abington, Pennsylvania in 2005. I was named after a nun that my mother worked within the mountains of Kentucky. My mother’s name is Joy. She is the youth director at my church and my father Steve is a technology executive. I have a Yorkie-poo named Gracie, who is my best friend and favorite movie-watching companion. Although, biologically, I am an only child, but my parents fostered six boys from Sudan before I was born. They are grown up now and most of them have kids (one of them has seven children), but I still call them my brothers and I love them as such. I lived in England when I was a baby for about six months, but then we moved back to Pennsylvania. We lived in Lansdale until 2009 when we moved to North Carolina. I was four at the time, so we had to find a preschool before the school year started. I visited a few schools, but ended up going to St. John’s Episcopal Church and Preschool, and I have attended church there ever since. St. John’s is a very important part of my life and I am so lucky to have it. 

After graduating from preschool, I attended Heritage Elementary School in kindergarten and first grade. After first grade, my parents transferred me to St. Timothy’s School in Raleigh. I made so many memories and many lifelong friends there and I will always cherish my time there. I graduated eighth grade on June 1, 2019, and now I am here at Heritage High School writing about myself for newspaper in third period on my fourth day as a freshman!   

I have played golf for as long as I can remember, so I naturally joined the women’s golf team here at Heritage. Golf and school take up most of my time, but I love spending time outside. I love backpacking and camping and hiking. I can never pass up an adventure. If I could pick one place to spend the rest of my life it would be in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The air is so fresh and the adventure is limitless. Boredom does not exist in the mountains. Even on a rainy day, you could never run out of enjoyment. My favorite rainy day activities are playing games with my family, or curling up on the couch to watch Gilmore Girls, Friends, Mamma Mia, or The Parent Trap, with hot cocoa and Cheez-its on the table next to me. You might also find me jamming out to some music on full volume. Whether it’s Justin Bieber, Alec Benjamin, Billie Eilish, The Fray, Journey, or Beyonce, you probably will catch me dancing around my room, regardless of how bad I’m dancing. 

I have always been interested in the performing arts. I took musical theater classes until I was 12, but I was never good enough at dancing to make the higher-level classes, so I stuck to my acting classes. I have always loved singing, but golf is most important to me, so singing is more of a hobby. I have been in a few musicals as well including Mulan Jr., Shrek Jr., and A Hundred Dresses. Although I love singing and acting, they are not my passions. 

Golf has always been a big part of my life. I have been playing in tournaments almost every weekend since I was twelve, and no matter how frustrating it is, I cannot get enough of the sport. I have made so many friends and learned so many new things playing golf and that is really important to me. When I’m not playing in tournaments on the weekend, I’m most likely playing with my dad. I want to play college golf on a scholarship. My dream school is UNC, but it would be amazing to play anywhere. Though I do love golf, it is not what I see myself doing for a living. I want to be a journalist. I love writing and reading about poverty in other countries, its causes and how I can be part of the solution. I love reading about what is happening to our environment and how I can make a positive impact on the Earth, and what is going on in the political world and what I can do to make a difference if what is happening is unjustified. I care a lot about what happens in our world and I want to be able to have a beneficial effect. I am pollotarian–the only meat I eat is chicken–and I limit my plastic use. I have stopped buying shampoo and conditioner in bottles and I use bars instead, I make sure that if I do buy plastic that it is made of recycled materials and that I can recycle it, and I educate myself on how to recycle properly. Some people say it’s crazy, but I want a clean enough planet to survive on for our future and we have to start now to make that happen. 

I hope this article didn’t bore you or scare you away. I’m not as crazy as it sounds like, although my friends might disagree. I’m really excited to be a part of the Herald and I can’t wait for a great year!  



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