One road ends, another begins

Connor KocklerColumn, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

After many years, the path I’ve been on is finally coming to a close. By coming to a close, I mean graduating from high school. After four years of high school and more years in earlier schooling, it’s time to make the jump to the next step of life. While I look forward to what’s ahead, I want to first reflect what is now past.

High school graduation is an event that is talked about as a significant milestone in one’s life. Though it hasn’t really set in yet, I’m starting to slowly but surely feel the signs. At school, you heard talk of the events coming up in May, thinking they were so distant, but really approaching at a breakneck pace. Friends and family at holiday gatherings asked questions about college plans and future careers. The phrase “Class of 2018,” long a distant specter in the back of students’ minds, suddenly took on its full meaning.

At Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, we certainly took it to heart. A “Change the Culture” movement arose and brought passion and energy to our sports games and classrooms. Seniors from our school accomplished so many great things, and were recognized for their athletic, academic, artistic and community achievements. It was amazing to live through these days and see many students I’ve known for so long achieving their goals this year.

But getting this far isn’t a solo effort. There are so many parents, teachers, coaches and other mentors who have given the Class of 2018 such great advice, pushed us to do our best and helped us to recognize the important things in life. So many people work selflessly every day to ensure the success of our local students, and I hope they know how much their efforts really mean to every single one of us.

I will always remember starting high school as a young freshman, looking up in awe at the seniors and feeling like it would be forever until I was one of them. Looking back now, it really feels like no time has passed at all. Though the time has flown by, there are so many memories made that will last for the rest of my life. I have met so many amazing, inspiring people and had experiences that will shape my worldview going forward.

One thing I’m most proud of doing in high school, and encourage every current student to do, is to get involved. It often felt overwhelming being a part of so many activities and clubs, but it made my time at school so much richer and rewarding. You really gain a sense of all that is going on at the school, and build relationships with other students and teachers that last a lifetime.

It has been a long but rewarding road to get to this point, and I’m ready for the new path that now stretches before me. I would like to thank everyone who has helped get me to this point; my parents, teachers, friends and coaches. I really couldn’t have done it without you, and every little thing you did helped me so much.

As we move on to the next stage, I know the Class of 2018 is ready for whatever is ahead. From all of the students I’ve worked with, I know we are a determined and positive group of people, aware of the challenges ahead but resolving to face them with our best efforts and striving for success.

For all of the Class of 2018, be sure to enjoy this moment and remember all the memories made so far. It’s been an honor and a privilege to grow with all of you, and I know the future has great things in store as long as we work hard and keep going strong. Good luck and best wishes.

Author: Connor Kockler

Kockler enjoys extensive reading, especially biographies and historical novels, and he has always had an almost inborn knack for writing well. He also enjoys following the political scene, nationally and internationally. In school, his favorite subjects are social studies and language. Two of his other hobbies are golfing and bicycling.

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