The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.

greatgradSydnie McGuire has a unique goal in life; it’s really what she doesn’t want out of life: To become a hobo.

She laughed, “If I try my hardest, I’ll get it done,” she said relating to any challenges that come her way. “I’m not going to be a hobo out in the cold.”

Instead, the 18-year-old Middle College senior has a variety of things in life she hopes to accomplish starting with becoming a stand-up comedian through college.

“Sydnie is probably the most frequent contributor to class discussions, she is a ‘little mother’ to many students her same chronological age, tutoring them in math, reminding them when an assignment is due, etc.,” said her teacher Jennifer Fraser.

McGuire, from San Bruno, spent most of her childhood as an only child. She now has a younger half brother who is 11. Born in Hayward, her parents moved to San Bruno when she was 2. With no siblings, relatives or neighborhood kids her age, McGuire began to master the art of articulating herself to adults at an early age, although the topics with which she started conversation were often more age appropriate for her.

Her lack of a filter, which McGuire admitted sometimes remains when talking today, means McGuire sometimes learns things the hard way. For example, tactfully telling someone they’ve got something in their teeth or when it’s appropriate to correct an adult in front of a crowd.

Aside from one year of ice skating lessons, McGuire wasn’t extremely active as a kid. That changed when she entered Parkside Intermediate. McGuire signed up for volleyball and track and field. Having little experience exercising, McGuire was far from the fastest kid on the field. But she started training herself by running behind the soccer kids and saw herself improving. She also started playing the cello at her mom’s suggestion but McGuire found herself to be quite good. She’s not a fan of playing jazz though, McGuire enjoys classical.

Middle school wasn’t a huge success for McGuire in all categories. She was bullied and really didn’t care for the preteen part of her life. At Capuchino, McGuire continued volleyball through her junior year. She didn’t find her niche at the traditional high school, so McGuire applied to Middle College in the middle of her junior year. The program, located on the College of San Mateo campus, allows juniors and seniors from the San Mateo Union High School District to take high school and college courses concurrently.

Transitioning wasn’t too difficult for McGuire, however she quickly realized subjects in which she needed more work. This year, McGuire realized her goal of being accepted into Mills College with a scholarship that covered half the cost. Unfortunately, McGuire and her family couldn’t cover the additional cost, so she’ll be continuing her education at CSM in the fall.

The delay in transferring was frustrating at first, but McGuire isn’t focusing on it.

“What matters is getting your education,” she said. “As long as you have the guts to do it, work will always be there. Education is my focus now. I will try my hardest and I will get it done.”

The Middle College graduation is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 1.

Great Grads is in its fifth year profiling one graduating senior from each of our local schools. Schools have the option to participate. Those that choose to participate are asked to nominate one student who deserves recognition.