Clarion Staff

William Kraft

As my Senior year reaches its emotional conclusion, I find myself being (unsurprisingly) sentimental over everything that brought me here these past four years. The people I’ve met, and the subsequent friendships I’ve made, the list of school events and functions I’ve attended with friends since freshman year, and the seemingly colossal index of projects I’ve had to fare over the years, at their respective times seemingly impossible to complete, but now all in the past. I’ve grown as a person in ways I never thought possible, having a massively changed mindset than when I first arrived in the doors of RB. Though I act similar to how I did back then, I’m fundamentally different from whence I began.

Walking through the doors of RB feels like a lifetime ago, when I was still young and green, and the idea of “COVID” or “Pandemic” didn’t run through everyone’s mind like (ironically enough) a plague. It was a time I genuinely thought the friends I brought from middle school were going to be the only people I would talk to for the next four years, and boy was I wrong. I met so many wonderful, funny, and delightfully strange people here, and though I would love to write about each and every one of them, that simply wouldn’t be possible. If someone reading this is in absolutely any year of their high school career, take this advice: never take people for granted. Though you may think that the person who talks to you in your math class may be a small portion in your life, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Interactions like that may have small impacts on you now, but make a difference when added up.

And now for the big thing: Clarion, man… What a journey it’s been. If you had told me when I arrived that I would hold a class this near to my heart, I wouldn’t have believed you. I couldn’t be more grateful to my Honors English 9 teacher, Mr. Helgeson, who recruited me in his class way back when. Joining Clarion was probably the single best decision I made in high school. The way the class operates, as more of a student-run course rather than teacher-run, is so wonderfully unique that it allows for a mentality to form among peers that doesn’t say, “We are students” but rather says, “We are a team.” On top of that, it’s always nice to look back on the days when we would stay in the Clarion room late working on hard copy, burning the midnight oil, and having fun along the way.

If I were to do everything again, I would’ve told myself to join Clarion that first year I arrived here, in fact I remember Helgeson at one point scouting to my school telling us to join when we were still in middle school moving into freshmen year. I like to think that one day back then foreshadowed one of the most important constants in my entire life as a high schooler, but now that constant is coming to an end.

Am I worried? Yes.

Am I optimistic? Also, yes.

The closing of this chapter on my life isn’t an ending, rather, it’s a beginning. The first steps to a new frontier that instead of staggering into must be taken with the greatest haste. I felt the same way I do now when I stepped through the threshold of RB and started high school, and the experience has been grand every step of the way, through the good times and bad. So, with that outlook, and that hope for the future, I push off from RB into the great beyond, ready for the incoming change college will bring.

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