High above the sea of students streaming through the halls of Oyster River High School (ORHS) stands a recognizable lighthouse: tall, smart, and very ginger.
As soon as you meet Greg Caron (‘25), you quickly realize he is unlike anyone else you’ve ever met. A self-proclaimed “cool nerd,” Greg is a well-known character in the halls of ORHS. For those who aren’t as familiar with him, here are a few words to describe him: quirky, funny, nerdy, tall, and genuine.
I first met Greg last year. I don’t exactly know how, but all of a sudden, we become friends and I haven’t been able to get rid of him since. My friends, Emily Walsh (‘24) and Maeve Hickok (‘24), knew Greg, which led to him frequently visiting us during our lunch study. Greg became a key part of the “Chicks with Kicks” group chat in which he, Emily, Maeve, and I would send photos of our shoes to one another, often making Greg guess whose shoes were whose. While he frequently guessed wrong, his contributions to the group were invaluable.
These times spent with Greg are what gave me a better understanding of his sense of humor: slightly out-of-pocket (and borderline rude), but in a good way. He’s the kind of friend you want to have around because, no matter what, he will always get you to crack a smile.
Throughout the time I have known Greg, I have come to learn about his obsessive Duolingo phase, his lack of basketball knowledge, his enjoyment of driving, his affinity for music, and how annoyingly smart he is (which comes in handy when you need help with math homework). “I love ABBA. I genuinely love ABBA,” Greg said when I asked about his music taste, his favorite song being SOS.
I also learned that he goes through many phases where he is extremely interested in a particular thing, but his interest in education has stood the test of time.
Greg considers his education “incredibly important, because it’s your future.” He has always been studious and diligent with his work, despite the fact that, according to his mother, Carrie Caron, academics haven’t always come easy to him. Greg rebuts that statement, saying that when he was younger, “I wasn’t trying because it didn’t matter.”
Why do people know who Greg is? After all, he was once shy and quiet according to his mother. However, in high school, he is often credited as one of the most social students. “I like talking to people. It brings me joy,” Greg said. He hopes that others around the school think positively of him and thinks that he has a “known” presence around the high school. Hickok spoke of her friend saying, “when you know Greg, for instance passing him in the hallway, your first thought is, ‘Oh, it’s Greg what a nice surprise.’ Your second thought is, ‘Where is Greg supposed to be?’” Even though Greg seems to know everyone, he does have a core group of close friends in his grade.
Greg’s friend group refers to him as funny, sociable, and a little bit quirky. Now that Greg has his license, they enjoy going on skateboarding adventures, thrifting, or to one another’s houses. Andreas Cox (‘25), mentioned his friend’s “life of crime,” which jokingly refers to the amount of time that Greg spends walking into Cox’s room uninvited.
Quickly into high school, his friend Eleanor Raspa (‘23) told him about crew. Greg’s minimal athletic experience didn’t keep him from quickly discovering his enjoyment and skill for the sport. “He has [a] crew body. He’s tall and lanky with long arms,” his mom said. Now he either rows or does crew-adjacent training five days a week.
Greg also knows how to fly, and holds his junior pilot’s license. His family doesn’t really know where the whole flying thing came from, but suspects that their family’s love of travel led him to take up an interest in planes. One day around eighth grade, he asked his parents if he could take flying lessons. Now he gets out to fly once every two or three weeks, depending on the weather, and loves the new perspective of being in the sky. That is also one of the reasons he loves rowing. “The water is nice, serene, and secluded. It’s just you doing what you can do,” Greg said.
Greg hasn’t always been this social, outgoing, and silly nerd; as a kid, he was quiet and timid. He played piano, following in his brother Nate’s footsteps. Before his first recital, he says he “was a nervous wreck. I remember seeing my hands shaking and I don’t think I have seen them shake so much since.” Greg isn’t quite sure where his life may take him, but hopes to “be happy, be rich, or be both.” I immediately asked if he’d really rather be rich but unhappy, and he responded in very ‘Gregory’ fashion: “Well, if that’s what it takes.”