Senior Tributes

The senior Wigwam staff members say goodbye

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Haley Goodman
Editor-in-Chief

These last four years have been a learning experience, to say the least. But as cliché as this sounds, the most important thing I’ve learned in high school is to just be yourself without worrying about how others perceive you.                                                                                                                   The twenty kids in class that you’ve never talked to will most likely never see you again after graduation, so why would you care about what they think now? High school is a place that helps you grow into who you really are. Some people won’t grow up very much; you will find that some are way more mature than other teenagers. But letting other people dictate how you spend the “best years of your life” will insure that they are NOT the best years of your life. I made that mistake freshman and sophomore year. I went through friendships and breakups and figured out what career I wanted to pursue.

Senior year has been by far the best so far. I’ve stopped caring what others think and started making exciting decisions about my future. I could go on and on about Keller High School and it’s highs and lows, but instead, I’ll just say this. Keller has given me more than a couple mental breakdowns and fun football games. It’s shaped me into the driven person I am today. So I’ll always have to thank it for that. I mean, there’s no going back, right?

Audrey Cook
Managing Editor

*Sigh* I hate change. I really do. As much as I would love to say that I’m the trail-blazing, adventurous, ready-for-anything, prepared perfect person that I wish I could be, I’m not there yet. In all honesty, this has been the most terrifying year of my life, but also the most rewarding. I’ve gotten to direct a few shows, write for the student newspaper, go to Ireland and establish new bonds I know I’ll remember the rest of my life. But that “college future” reality has just seemed to loom over my head every step of the way. And that’s the most pressure you could put on a person of such young age and underdevelopment — the pressure of knowing exactly who you are when you still don’t even know what shoes you’re going to wear tomorrow. We all love to broadcast “who we are” to the world, but let’s be honest — we’re all still figuring it out. And here we are, a few short days away from graduation, and none of us have figured it all out yet. Or at least, I haven’t.

If high school has taught me one thing, it’s that you have to inhale in order to exhale. I can’t give to others what I don’t have myself. Candles can’t burn on both ends. Life can live without you for an hour. Social media will still be there when you get back. Your friends will always wanna hang (the ones worth having anyways). Get over your FOMO (fear of missing out) and take some time to yourself. Because how can you expect to know others if you don’t even know yourself?

Taking a step seems like a mile when you’re 18 and getting ready for the shock of real life. Suddenly, little things means everything, and you’re just not sure which options to take because there are a 1,001 options for you to choose from. But I’ve learned that all I have to do is follow the steps toward the things I adore. The things that make me feel truly and inexplicably “alive” (for lack of a better word). We put so much pressure on ourselves. We must stop. I don’t mean for this senior tribute to become a soap box, but for the love of all that is holy, don’t waste any more of your energy or time worrying. Take it from someone who gets it. It simply isn’t worth it. Enjoy yourself. Cry. Laugh. Scream. Go wild every now and again. Be passionate about something. Life’s too short to live in a box. Enjoy it while it’s yours.

Michelle Mirza

That’s Rad/Two Cents Editor

These are not the best days of your life. I realize that this isn’t exactly the greatest way to start off some inspirational article written by a senior who’s expected to grant some of her newfound wisdom to you budding underclassmen, but it’s the hard truth. These days, these experiences, these hallways, filled with claustrophobia and peers who think it’s socially acceptable to PDA all over the school and the universal stress that plagues high school, these moments are not the best. They can’t possible be the best — and that should be an absolute relief to you.

The four years you experience in high school are not your “glory days.” You are not peaking at the seemingly ripe age of 16, and everything does not go downhill from here. At least I hope not (I’m still testing out that theory). The 180 days you spend here for four long years are not the most amazing moments of your life; however, they are moments.

And here is where I insert the incredibly cliché advice you were clenching every muscle in your entire adolescent body for.

These days you spend in high school may lack the “bestest” factor, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they are possibly the last moments you will truly get to bask in and enjoy. You will never be 14 years old, nauseously getting to experience the innocent first day excitement. You will never again be 16 years old, anxiously waiting for the day you get your license — the ultimate escape from the prison that is your parent’s car. Because next thing you know, you’re 18 and you’d do absolutely anything to relive the innocent and naïve days where the safest place in the whole universe was in the comfort of your mother’s arms. Next thing you know, you’re swamped with these strangely “grown-up” decisions. Next thing you know, you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities and weighed down by the unclear future — and the last thing you’re concerned with is when the Friday night football game starts.

This isn’t meant to scare underclassmen off. This isn’t to say that the future is disturbingly filled with pesky priorities and uncertainty at all times. But this is your reality check, my dudes.

Of course, you don’t have to listen to me drone on and on about how you should eat Carpe Diem for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because I am not Mr. Miyagi. I may look the part with the whole chinky eyes thing, but I have no more profound wisdom than you do. I have, without a doubt, no clue what I’m doing. However, what I do know is that, while the future may have the inevitable potential to be absolutely marvelous, you should still be here. Be in the now. Don’t stress yourself out with the overbearing weight of the future. Don’t burden yourself with the worry of knowing exactly where you want to be in five years. You don’t need to have every single ounce of your life figured out right now. Be here instead. It’s far more fun. 

Aside from the Pythagorean theorem and how to write a thesis, the one vital thing I’ve learned by now after these four years is to live in the present unapologetically and worry-free. That doesn’t exactly give you permission to jump off a cliff or burn all of your textbooks (no matter how tempting that may be), but it does give you permission to enjoy these oh-so-sweet moments of adolescence. It’s an order, actually. Again, don’t worry — it’s only a participation grade.

So please, my fellow underclassmen, I urge you to bask in these fleeting experiences. Soak up that feeling of seemingly never-ending freedom. Enjoy these days with friends you’ve become so astonishingly accustomed to. Be present in these moments filled with comforting routines and cherish this atmosphere brimming with love and acceptance and familiarity. Never for a single second in this time, take it for granted.

Samantha Mohr
Culture Editor

On May 27, 2017, the fourth year of my high school career will come to an end. When I leave the hallowed halls of Keller High, I will take with me memories: those filled with tears, happiness, and joy. High school has been one heck of a ride. I have changed so much — for the better — over the years, into the best person I can be. Keller High School, and the people I surrounded myself with, shaped me into a studious, gracious person, and for that I will forever be thankful. As my senior year ends, so does my position on The Wigwam. This tribute is my last hoorah for senior year, as well as The Wigwam.

As little freshmen walking the halls, graduation seems like a far off event. It feels like one of those events that will never happen to us. Then, as each step we take through the school, and as each year creeps by faster than the last, it becomes real. As we walk through the doors, we are told to cherish every moment possible, because it will be gone before you know it. As freshmen, this was taken too lightly. The thing is, people leave out how easy it is to get lost in the hustle and bustle of high school. Life gets in the way of the goal in mind, and it is easy to forget the impending date of leaving all of your friends behind. Now, as seniors, each day spent with these students and teachers are blessings. We are now facing the reality of our friends moving on to bigger and better things and flying away from the nest. As scary as it may seem, it is also very exciting.

Now, as we take our final steps through the halls that have shaped us, we have a different outlook on life. We are standing at the edge of the cliff, about to just head first into the rest of our lives. When you jump, however, take a moment to reflect on the joy that is high school. Yes, it was tough and challenging and downright irritating at times, but it also helped shape the people we are today. Reflect on the beautiful people that told you what to study for the upcoming exam, or the friends that lent a shoulder to cry on when you didn’t get the best grade. Remember the teachers that left a mark on your life, and became your friend before they were your teacher. Remember that the end of high school is not a goodbye, but a I’ll see you on the flipside. Tears will be shed, and smiles will break through, and I will miss each and every one of you.

Megan Mousaw
Online Editor

It’s hard to believe four years have come and gone. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting in 1st period Algebra 1 with Grotjan, but I’m actually sitting at home stressing about my finals and eagerly awaiting prom and graduation. It’s crazy how when you’re having the time of your life, or when you are struggling and think it’s the end of the world, time flies.

I’ve waited two years to be able to write my very own senior tribute, but now that I’m sitting here in front of my laptop, I have no idea what to say. I feel like I should give you some great and deep advice about enjoying high school and not taking things for granted, but that’s not me. I rather tell you about my favorite songs at the moment (“She’s Casual” by The Hunna, “Winter” by Khalid, “Barcelona” by Ed Sheeran, and “I Don’t Wanna Dance” by COIN, just in case you were wondering), why I’m so stressed (AP exams are a killer, but it’s worth it), or how I’m so excited about prom and getting to hang out with all my friends on one amazing night.

When you get to your senior year, you’ll be so excited to graduate that you won’t care about anything or anyone, and you’ll only be concerned about getting out of high school. That’s how I was, until about a month ago, when I realized all my friends, including myself, were leaving high school forever and I may never see half of them again. Some people don’t care about this, but I’m very sentimental at times, and when I realized that I would never walk the halls of high school with my friends ever again, go to high school football games in the freezing cold, or go to those pep rallies that no one really liked (but we went to anyways), I realized that I am one of the very view seniors that will miss high school.

If I were to give you one piece of deep, and possibly cheesy, advice, it would be to cherish your time in high school. When you’re in your early years of high school, all you want to do is get to senior year so you can graduate. But once you’re here, it’s not as fun as it may seem. Senior year means becoming an adult and deciding what you want to do with your life and where to go to college. It means going to your last football games, pep rallies, and homecoming dances. It means saying goodbye to your senior spot that you worked so hard on painting in the heat of August to some junior that’s going to paint over it. It means saying goodbye to the teachers and staff you have became so familiar with over the past four years. It means saying goodbye to your classmates, whether you despised them or you considered each other good friends. It means saying goodbye to your best friends, whether you’ve known them for your whole life or only for a couple years. No more spontaneous trips to Chipotle, to Dairy Queen for some late-night blizzards, or shopping dates to Forever 21 or Sephora for more clothes and makeup you probably don’t need. And it means saying goodbye to your family. If you are going to a college far away, it means no more home cooked meals by mom with your whole family, playful fights with your annoying siblings, or someone to come home to when you’re sad or had a rough day.

In case you haven’t caught on by now, I am begging you to cherish these four years high school gives you, because you will never get them back. But those next four years in college? It’s four more years or opportunity and adventure waiting for you, with new and old friends, family, and an exciting future ahead of year. You’ll probably call your mom five times a week, and call and text your best friend everyday.

As I sit here typing this with less than a month left in high school, I keep reminding myself how much I am going to miss high school and miss writing for The Wigwam. It’s been a privilege to write and work with an amazing group of people that I’m lucky to call my friends, and I can’t wait to see what we all do in the future. As high school comes to an end for seniors, we are all eagerly awaiting walking across that stage and snatching our diplomas that will set us free. And as for you, the lower classman who may be reading this, your time will come for when you get that desired diploma, but for now, enjoy high school while it lasts (*mic drop*).

Mackenzie Tomlinson
Spotlight Editor

Hi everyone! It’s Mackenzie, coming at you live about one hour before this senior tribute is due. If that doesn’t sum up my year, I don’t know what does.

I don’t know what I can tell anyone about high school that hasn’t already been covered. You guys can find many heartwarming, bittersweet articles either from my fellow writers or on viral Facebook posts. Everyone usually makes high school out to be either the best time of your life or the worst, depending on how it was for them. I really can’t tell you what to think about it — like “High school was great for me, so it will be great for everyone else, too!” Or “I hated high school, so you all need to hate it, too!” It’s not up to me how you all feel; it’s up to you.

If you view high school as a mindless wasteland of horrible people and disgusting classes, flavored occasionally by sprinkles of misery, then I don’t think you’re going to have a very good time. Alternatively, if you view it as “the BEST 4 years of my life, OMG,” you may be that sad middle-aged person who peaked at age 17 and never moved on from high school.

High school is just a step in your life. You’re going to move on to bigger and better things — prom is not going to be “the gr8est night of ur LYFE<3, just like high school isn’t going to be the greatest four years of your life. But it doesn’t mean you should blow off high school or wait for it to be over. It’s a part of your life, and like all parts of your life, make an effort to enjoy it while it lasts and treasure the good parts.

Mackenzie in first grade

Maybe later you’ll treasure the bad parts, too. Like the questionable and unnerving taste of cafeteria chicken, or being yelled at by a teacher you can’t stand, or almost being slaughtered in a parking lot accident. It’s always good to laugh at yourself, and I, for one, think my high school self will give me a lot of laughing material.

I’m going to keep this short, sweet, and to the point. For all the general grossness of high school, I enjoyed it and will remember it for the rest of my life. However, I know there are bigger things coming, and I won’t dwell on the past instead of moving on to the future.

#Deep.
See you later, Keller!

Jacob Mitchell
Staff Writer

The end is near. Very near. I have spent the past four years of my life as a Keller Indian and let me tell you, I have had a great time. From all of the long nights writing essays the day before they’re due to some of the best nights of my life doing fun things with my friends on the weekend, these experiences have all shaped me into the man that I am today. As I graduate and begin the next chapter of my life, I can’t help but think that I would be more than happy to continue my high school career in Keller. Fifth year high school senior? As fun as it sounds, it isn’t very realistic. But the silver lining is that when I am laying in my bed next year in Room 825 Yocum Hall at the University of Arkansas, I will be able to look back on all the good times I had and be thankful for my wonderful family, all my hilarious friends, and the school that brought me so much joy. Thank you Keller High School. Thank you for giving me the best high school experience that I could have asked for.

P.S. For all students that are not yet graduating, l encourage you to read or listen to the following song and continue your high school careers with Natasha’s wise words in the back of your mind.

Song: Unwritten
Artist: Natasha Bedingfield

Songwriters: BRISEBOIS, DANIELLE/BEDINGFIELD, NATASHA/RODRIGUES, WAYNE
Unwritten lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, oh, oh
I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, yeah, yeah

Armando Tellez Vazquez
Staff Writer

Senior year is here, and with it, the end of a four-year journey. As students, we’re told to go to school, work hard, get good grades. So we compete. We spend late nights on a Shakespeare essay we don’t care about. We look for the value of “x” within every single problem. All for a number. All to be better than the other guy, to have better grades, and get into a better college.

When we first start high school, four years seem like a really long time. What we don’t realize is that it goes by so fast. Right now you may find yourself walking the hallways, thinking about passing the chemistry exam. But before you know it, you’ll be me. You’ll be at lunch, picking up your cap and gown for graduation, wondering where all the time went. You’ll remember the audition you didn’t go to so you could go to a test review. You’ll remember the times you said no to your friends, choosing instead to help out the hockey team for the sole purpose of getting green cord hours.

High school is a part of life. It’s a place you have to go to. It’s a place at which you work hard. It’s a place where you have to get good grades. So do your best. Plan for the future. Set your goal to get into NYU, Yale, MIT, the Naval Academy. Wherever. Just remember to look around. Remember to live. Before you know it it’ll be too late.

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