LAINGSBURG — Laingsburg High School senior Autumn Eyre may still be undecided on where to attend college next fall, but she has no doubts about what she wants to do in the long run.

A self-described extrovert, Eyre is fascinated by people, particularly how the human mind works and why individuals do what they do. With these questions in mind, the 16-year-old has sights on an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and, ultimately, a doctorate in psychiatry.

“I love thinking about how the body can react to the mind and how it affects things,” Eyre said. “I think it’s really important to understand mental health and the personal cues of how you’re feeling and why you do the things that you do. It’s so interesting and it’s something that really needs to be talked about more.”

Eyre’s current course load includes advanced placement classes in literature and calculus, as well as two college-level independent study courses — humanities and introductory psychology. Eyre also serves as a captain of the varsity volleyball team, as drum major for the marching band and as a member of the student council, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Eyre said what she most enjoys about volleyball and band is not the competition aspect of each activity, but rather the ability to form strong bonds with classmates.

“(With volleyball), you’re on the court with these girls for the entirety of the game and you have to talk so much,” Eyre said. “I think I’m able to establish such amazing relationships, and I’ve gotten so much closer to all the seniors on my team. It’s amazing.

“(In band), everybody is like one giant family, really, and we have so many little inside jokes as a band…I love it” she added.

As drum major for the band, Eyre said the majority of her energy is focused on motivating her classmates, a task that was difficult this year as the group faced uncertainty amid the coronavirus.

“It’s really hard, especially when we didn’t know if we were going to have performances at the beginning of the year, it was hard to say, ‘Get out on the field and start marching’ for something that we didn’t know we were going to have,” Eyre said. “On the 16th (Friday), we will have our first performance at a football game. I’m so excited.”

Looking ahead to college, Eyre said she’s currently leaning toward attending the University of Michigan or Michigan State University for her undergraduate degree in biochemistry, adding there’s a possibility she may go out of state later on to earn her doctorate in psychiatry.

“Right now (in terms of a career) I’m leaning more toward the clinical aspect, you know, the direct application, seeing patients, things like that,” Eyre said, “but I don’t know, maybe once I get to college I’ll be more interested in the research side of it.

“I definitely just want to be somewhere where I can help people and learn more about people. I am absolutely an extrovert, I love interacting with people, I love helping people, so that’s really important to me.”

Laingsburg High School psychology teacher Daniel Morrill believes Eyre will be a great fit in the profession, given her strong work ethic and people skills.

“The field of psychology needs more young people like Autumn that are interested in it, in fact all of the helping professions could use more young Autumns,” Morrill said. “She has compassion, understanding, empathy, intelligence and a strong work ethic.

“Autumn will do great things in this world and make a positive impact on people’s lives, of that I have no doubt.”

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