As I reflect on my 5 years spent at Grace Prep, of course it is the memories outside the classroom that I first recollect; the nights spent at high school football games, the three class trips I had the opportunity to go on, even just the class gatherings that we occasionally held.
Soon after processing through the immediately enjoyable memories, the not so memorable ones rise into thought.
Memories of my sleepless nights studying for Mr. Wetterling’s world history tests, of my hardships endured with friendships, and even personal struggles that I have endured during my formative years in high school swim through my mind; not as painful now.
One step farther, and I begin to recall some of the lessons I have learned, not just about the make-up of the human spinal cord from anatomy, or the use of metonymy in my AP Literature essays, but lessons that I have learned about myself, others, and the world around me. Lessons I have learned here about becoming a leader while still submitting to authority, prioritizing allotment of time for work, and spending time with those who mean the most…and just things that I had to learn about myself to be truly successful throughout high school are not lost on me.
It is these countless insights that I have gained from deeply caring teachers, advisors, and friends who will be my backbone and guide as I embark on the rest of my journey outside Grace Prep this coming fall at Northwestern University- three states away, but a lifetime of learning near.
Following my late realization of the value of these pieces of wisdom that were imparted to me, I simply wish someone had told me earlier the value of these truths and how to gain the more important lessons of high school. It truly took me until the fall of my senior year that I realized the most important things I had gleaned during high school, and how much more I could have gained if I had opened my eyes and slowed it all down.
There is a limited amount of time that every person has during one of the most important events in every person’s road to maturity called high school.
So pay attention to Mr. Wetterling’s stories about his own life and the lessons he’s learned, ride with your best friends to every football game on Friday nights, listen up to Mrs. Bullington’s Monday Mom Moments, reach out and make friends with someone in another class, and definitely don’t take those middle of the night, multi-hour conversations in a Whataburger parking lot with friends for granted. Because it will all be over faster than you can imagine.
It is surely these lessons, but especially these friendships and memories that will shape the rest of your life and who every one of us will become.
To every teacher who has poured into me, to every car-full of friends on a Friday night coming home from a football game, to every friend who has been there for me at my highest and lowest, to every other person who made my high school experience what it was; thank you.
-Nathan Holm, Senior, Guest Writer