In the wise words of the High School Musical cast, “high school wasn’t meant to last forever.” Watching High School Musical as a five-year-old and seeing Zac Efron break into song at any mild hindrance, I went into high school with the unrealistic mindset that dance battles resolve problems. Of course, I had already undergone a major reality check in middle school, but I still wanted a “We’re All in This Together” moment, nonetheless. All that being said, I did not get my exact High School Musical moment that I fantasized about in elementary school, but I did get lots of good memories and made a lot of good friends because maybe it really was the friends we made along the way.
For a minute I want to talk about The Nugget Newspaper and the solace it was in my chaotic high school experience. Newspaper has been one of my favorite things to come out of my time at HHS. Every year the class makes up such a tight-knit group of friends and that is something that I will truly miss. From walks to Great Harvest, Spotify days, and podcasting, joining Newspaper my junior year has been such a fun experience. Not only is the newspaper family amazing, but Newspaper as a class is too. Newspaper allowed me to have an outlet to express my opinions on music, movies, and books and also to get to know my own school better.
Other than my great time in Newspaper, high school was filled with ups and downs. I had many teachers that I loved (shoutout to a few: Mr. Sykes, Mr. Askin, Mrs. Schulte, Mrs. Orzechowski, and of course, Ms. Walsh) and I’ve also had a handful of bad teachers (shoutout to… just kidding).
High school saw the end of my soccer career after I had to ‘retire’ due to a 4-peat knee dislocation. It was one of the hardest but most necessary things I had to do. Soccer was such a large part of my life for so many years, with so many hours of dedication and money spent, all for it to be over. But inevitably it was time for me to move on.
Because I was, more or less, forced to quit soccer, I was able to find a new hobby that I now love and am so grateful that I ended up participating in. Mock Trial came to me by accident and now has me on a path for my future. Freshman year I followed one of my friends into the Mock Trial informational meeting and four years later I am leaving with three Best Attorney awards, one Best Witness award, two State Championship titles, and one memorable trip to Nationals (subtle flex, I know). Mock Trial brought me a new community of people that have become some of my best friends. It also brought me skills and a passion for law and aiding others that I believe I would not have found otherwise.
With all of that being said, the best word I can use to describe leaving high school is bittersweet. I’m very ready for the next chapter of my life, for leaving Helena, meeting new people, and experiencing new things, but I will also miss so many people and places around Helena and Helena High that made my time here so special. And honestly, I’ll miss the institution of high school, just a little bit, because now I can say that I did it—I graduated high school.
So… I’d like to thank my mom and dad for always supporting me. To my little brother for humbling me on a daily basis. To my friends, current, new, and old for shaping me into the person I am today. To all the teachers that I’ve ever had for teaching me valuable lessons. To my teammates for showing me what it means to truly work together. And to my fans, none of this would have been possible without you—wait…
This is extremely long-winded, so the tl;dr* is: thank you. I am so grateful for everything and everyone who has been with me these past few years and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Signing off of The Nugget for the last time,
*tl;dr = too long; didn’t read