Grads: Find happiness in the little things
Published 2:59 pm Saturday, June 6, 2015
More than 240 seniors graduated from Austin High School Friday
Austin High School seniors took their last walk down the aisles of Knowlton Auditorium as they received their diplomas Friday evening.
“It feels great,” senior Mckenna Gleisner said. “It’s really exciting and I know I’m ready for the next chapter in life but I know I’m going to miss it.”
More than 240 seniors walked in the graduation ceremony Friday, many with big future plans. Yet the future was set aside for later to make room for memories of friends, classmates and the past 13 years of school.
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“It took a lot of hard work and support from friends and family,” Gleisner said.
She advised incoming students to work hard, because she said it really pays off in the end. Gleisner plans to attend Iowa State University with a major in business and a minor in Spanish. She hopes to join a larger corporation and do some traveling.
Many similar hopes and dreams filled the auditorium as the speakers talked of making the most out of the small moments and finding oneself. Senior Anna Bachmeier spoke about graduation and the important moment it was for the class of 2015.
“This is the moment that is the division between our past and our future,” she said during her speech.
“What matters is the journey that we took to reach this moment,” she added.
Bachmeier hoped she and her classmates would find greatness in themselves over the years.
“Every one of us has the capability for greatness,” she said. “Greatness can be defined in many different ways. For me, I find greatness in doing the ordinary things to the best of my ability.”
Senior Katherine Maxa had high hopes for the future, as well, but she said the biggest moments in life can also be the little moments. She advised against going into life thinking only of making money or being “the best” or “the brightest” at something, but to find happiness in the little moments that make the big picture of life.
“It’ll be the little things that bring you joy, sorrow and every emotion in between,” Maxa said. “And it will be the little things that will ultimately create the big picture of your life and be the journey towards accomplishing your dreams.”
For Connor Bollum, graduating was bittersweet as he looked ahead to the future but reached back to great memories.
“I guess it’s nice that you graduate, but you’re going to miss a lot of your friends at school too,” he said.
Getting to graduation day took a lot of hard work in and out of the classroom, yet Bollum said it was easier with support from friends and family. He plans to attend Iowa State University for agriculture and economics, though he’s not quite sure what he wants to do with it yet.
“I’m keeping my options open,” he said.
He advised future students to attend class and put in the effort and everything would work out.
The students weren’t the only ones excited for graduation and hopeful for bright futures.
Superintendent David Krenz was happy to be able to share some words at the graduation ceremony and see the students step into their future.
“This is a culmination of every school year, is to watch the seniors graduate and honor them for the hard work and accomplishments they’ve had throughout their school years,” Krenz said.
Krenz encouraged the students to find their talents and share them with others.
“Discover those gifts, find out who you are, and take those talents and nurture those, and share them with those around you,” he said. “Because not only will you be a better person from that, your friends, your country the world, will be better.”
“You’ve waited a long time for this, and you earned it,” he added. “You’ve put in 13 long years, being told what to do, what not to do, and eventually and finally you’ll get to decide those things for yourself.”
Krenz summed up his hope for the students’ futures in one word: “successful.”
For Halie Retterath, getting to graduation was a relief, though it took a lot of work.
“A lot of hard work, trying to stay on top of my school work,” Retterath said.
She hopes to attend Riverland Community College to become a nurse, so she can help people. As for incoming students, she advised them to avoid having any late or missed work, as it can be difficult to make it up. Yet she did, and she made it.