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I’ve been a part of the Hinckley-Big Rock district ever since kindergarten. It is amazing yet scary to think that my time as an HBR student is coming to an end. This town is my home and I have not known anything different, but by next year I will have a new life in Peoria, Illinois at Bradley University. The school, the town, and the people will all be unfamiliar to the small town I have come from, but I finally feel ready. 

Starting my senior year, I knew I had to finish strong. The first year I entered high school was as an 8th grader attending an Algebra 1 class. During 8th grade, I was offered the opportunity to be in an advanced math class. Since then, I had worked hard to maintain my grades throughout the rest of my high school career. A little part of me regrets focusing so much on school work. For a while, it stopped me from going to sporting events like I should have. Going to those social events means so much for school pride and just having fun. This year, it helped me to just take some time to relax and get away from all of the stress caused by school. 

It definitely wasn’t always easy. There were times when I felt lost or overwhelmed. Towards the end of this year, it was hard to find motivation to continue. I was so close to being done and I was truly just tired. I owe thanks to my teachers who have pushed me forward. Mr. Magis, my AP Gov teacher, always found a way to make our class fun even though the class itself covered complicated topics. Mr. Kantor is the school counselor, and with high school stress plus the added stress of scholarships and college decisions he was able to guide me through it all. He always found a time to talk me through my choices and find what is best for me. Although there are multiple other teachers who have impacted me, the last teacher I need to recognize is Mrs. Larsen. 

With the amount of times I have reached out to her and asked her for help, I am surprised she has not gotten tired of me. Mrs. Larsen has mainly been my math teacher, but she has been so much more than just that.  These teachers are here for students to reach out to. It was important for me to find teachers to lean against and ask for help. At first I wanted to be able to do it by myself. Yet, I realized, and I hope all students do as well, that to have a teacher you can turn to is extremely essential. 

I am so thankful that I got a chance to be a part of an overall good school district, and although it’s not perfect, it has done a lot to help me get to where I am in life. For students still in high school, take advantage of what the school offers, whether it is AP, IVVC, Waubonsee, or other advanced classes. I hope that every student at HBR takes chances to include themselves in social and educational activities to make the most of their high school experience.