“My favorite memory of high school is being able to play sports with my best friends,” said senior Matthew LaFaunge. “My sophomore year, when the football team made it to level 4 was one of the most memorable seasons I will have.”
LaFaunge played football all four years of high school as a wide receiver and looks forward to continuing his love of the sport in college.
“After high school, I will be attending the University of St. Thomas and playing football.”
While LaFaunge will continue his football career in college, senior Mary Onstad will be continuing her own favorite activity.
“I’m going to be attending Augsburg College in the fall for music therapy,” said Onstad.
As some seniors pursue their high school hobbies as a career, Lauren Harkner has other ideas.
“[I will be] going to UWEC to major in biology and into the pre-professional medical program,” said Harkner.
Though Harkner will be pursuing other goals than LaFaunge, both of their most cherished memories in high school deal with the sports they were involved in.
“My favorite memory is this year the volleyball team beat GET 30-32. It was crazy and fun,” said Harkner.
While LaFaunge and Harkner reflect on the sports that they were involved in, they think about some things they wish they would have been told before their senior year.
“It may seem far off, like you’re gonna be in high school forever, but it’s really not. Start making plans for your future, but don’t be scared if you don’t know what you want to do for sure,” said Harkner. “Even though you might know who you are and your personality, there’s nothing wrong with finding yourself in college.”
While Harkner advises students on the future, LaFaunge warns others not to look too far ahead and instead focus on the present.
“My advice to juniors is that, though senior year is approaching and you begin to think about colleges and the future, do not look past your senior year,” said LaFaunge. “It is kind of cliche, but it’s true–time does fly. Live in the moment and try [to] stay stress-free. Do not worry about what others think. Worry about making yourself happy.”
While LaFaunge focuses on the present and gives some tips to living a happy senior year, senior Hannah Shankey advises others to be open to change.
“To the juniors that are starting to think about what you want to do after high school: be prepared to change your mind many times. I changed my mind on what I wanted to do after high school probably three to five times. Have an open mind! Nobody can predict your future,” said Shankey.
As every other year, there were some things that seniors were told what their senior year would be like, but with these things came some surprises that they weren’t expecting.
“The most surprising thing I learned senior year is that you have to do what’s best for you and you only,” said LaFaunge.
“The most surprising thing I learned my senior year is, that you will be surprised on what you can achieve just by telling yourself that you are capable,” said Shankey. “Whether that’s getting accepted to a certain college, or even figuring out what you want to do with your life.”
As a month and a half remains of their final year of high school, some of them have different feelings on what leaving does to them emotionally.
“I just haven’t been able to grasp the fact that this is it. I’ve made it,” said Onstad. “I’ve spent years watching seniors graduate and go off to start their new lives, and now it’s me. It’s like it’s not real yet, and I think it will take June 7th to make this a reality for me.”
While seniors like Onstad are waiting for the realization to them, seniors like LaFaunge aren’t sure that one emotion can sum up the feelings on the end of their high school careers.
“There are signs of joy but also sadness. I am excited to see what the future holds for me, but I am also sad that the friendships I made in high school may be coming to an end,” said LaFaunge.
“As high school is coming to an end I am feeling happy to be able to move on and achieve my next step in life; however, I will miss a lot of the close ties I have made to the great people that I have gotten to know over the past 13 years,” said Shankey. “All things must come to an end, and I am excited to see what the future has in store for me.”
The Class of 2015 is set to graduate Sunday, June 7 at Tiger Stadium.