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  • Writer's pictureJames Hock - MRH Faculty

A Piece of Advice

Dear New Kids,

I write this letter as a graduate, but the words and advice I pour into it are those I’ve accumulated in my four years of high school at this wonderfully unique academic institution. I was you. Yes, you, right there! I was in your place, staring down the face of a daunting building composed of strangers and the pure unknown. I, too, was quaking in my vans at the thought of four years worth of education that could alter my future forever. I’m here to tell you one simple thing: you’re going to be okay.

I moved from California to Colorado during my freshman year of high school, terrified of the future I was to establish for myself. Some of you have it easier, coming into the building with friends built in or a network of acquaintances you can rely on. That’s perfectly okay too. Your friends will be fantastic guides in your journey through high school and will likely lead you to more companions that will make even greater impacts on your life. Since I wasn’t as cool as you kids with your awesome friend groups and established connections, I decided to use sports as an outlet for my loneliness. I met kids I likely would’ve never spoken to unless forced to in a classroom setting, and these kids are now my closest friends. I feared that I would be unable to find lasting companionship, and I ended up finding people I couldn’t lose if the world were destroyed (or on a more relatable note, shut down from disease). You will find those people who can protect you when times are most discouraging. You don’t have to fear isolation. In fact, high school is the greatest community I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. Look in the right places and you’ll be more than okay; you will thrive.

Sophomore year proved to be a little harder once COVID-19 struck our nation and ended the second half of my 2nd year in high school. I don’t want to talk about COVID and its destruction, however, because that would let the disease win. Instead, I’ll highlight the good that year brought me. I became closer to my family, connected more with my friends than ever before through social networking sites, and watched more people come to one another in a time of need than I had ever seen before. Cries for help were answered with empathy and bravery, and that sense of passion only furthered once school resumed my junior year. Stay connected, let your friends know you’ll be there when they need you, and stay focused on your goals no matter the influence of the outside world. Your success is a top priority, and both your friends and teachers will understand that and help you achieve your goals.

My junior year was quite an adjustment due to the separation experienced from the lockdown, but I experienced a return to a community full of support and joy. My friends and I became extremely close, my teachers worked harder than ever to see me succeed, and my individual successes were greater than I’ve ever experienced. Believe that your teachers are here to support you because they ALWAYS are, no matter your struggles.

Senior year has flashed by my eyes and I couldn’t be more sad and proud of what I got to experience. You will have immense amounts of fun, countless moments of joy, momentary periods of defeat, and endless moments of triumph. Supplement the fear in your mind with courage and joy because these four amazing years are too short to sit back and hide from. You will be alright, and if you start to doubt that, know that there will always be someone there to believe in you

Good Luck Kid,

Caden Kalkhorst

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