See ya later, alligator


If we’re being honest, high school was not my favorite. People always say that we’re going to miss this, but I really don’t think that I will, with a few exceptions. I can’t totally discredit the entire experience though because I’ve absolutely learned a thing or two. Or five.

#1. Be kind. Be kind to everyone, and that includes yourself. Syble Heffernan taught me this, and while I often fail, I always try. Kindness and respect can get you a lot of places.

#2. You cannot control everything. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this is terribly difficult for me. Sometimes, you have to let certain situations resolve themselves. Sometimes, you have to let some people go. Sometimes, you have to be there for yourself before anyone else. This does not make you a bad person, and all of these things are okay.

#3. Find your place and your people. This is something else I struggled with my freshman year. When I was accidentally placed in journalism my sophomore year, it was my own anxiety and fear of confrontation that kept me here. Now, I am so thankful that I didn’t drop the class. I have become more confident in myself and in my writing since then. Obviously, I am a little biased, but I also believe that journalism allowed me to meet and work with the best people, with guidance from the best adviser in the entire world.

#4. Check your email. This may seem like a joke, but I am dead serious. Check your freaking email. Administrators and counselors have important announcements, colleges are trying to contact you, and the journalism kids are just trying to schedule an interview. The thought of having four unread emails gives me anxiety; how do you guys handle 365?!

More than anything though, number five is the most important to me.

#5. Appreciate your teachers. If I had any advice for incoming freshmen, this would be it. This is actually my advice to any student ever. Appreciate! Your! Teachers!
Although high school, in general, wasn’t the coolest, most of North Platte High School’s teachers were. While there are certain classes I couldn’t wait to be over, and classes that made me cry pretty regularly (Sash, math just isn’t my thing), there are other classes that made me happy to be in school. Every late night paper and last minute assignment (because let’s be honest, we all procrastinate) pushed me in so many ways and was totally worth it in the end.

To students: Understand that your grades are earned, not given. Understand that teachers have lives, and they definitely do not revolve around you. Be respectful always.

To Mrs. and Mr. Werkmeister, Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Allen, Mr. Berry, Ms. Mejia, Mrs. Hartman, and Ms. Sansone: Thank you all for helping me fall in love with learning. Thank you for inspiring me in the classroom, and motivating me to become a teacher myself. Thank you for being the best.

To Ms. Larson: You did all of those things and more. Thank you for teaching me not only about journalism, but for showing me the type of woman I want to be in the future. You inspire me more than anyone else every single day.

In two days, I’m going to be a graduate of NPHS, and these five things helped me get to this point. If these past four years really were the best of my life, well, that’s incredibly disappointing. But for some reason, I think I have a lot to look forward to.