Note from the adviser: The Milestone was led by senior Katie Limberg for the 2019-2020 academic year. In the tradition of The Milestone, the editor write the final story as a sign-off letter to close the year of the official student online newspaper of McNicholas High School. Many thanks to Katie for her leadership, and we wish her continued success with her writing.
For the past 2 years, I have been a part of the Milestone staff, and for the past 2 years I have watched not only myself, but the people around me grow up. Each shift in the season is a step closer to what lies beyond the walls of our classrooms, and what awaits us in the next phase of life that I often found myself, from time to time, forgetting how precious this season, the one in which we are currently, is no less important and far easier to rest in and make home.
To my fellow classmates: When I think of McNicholas High School, I don’t think about the sweaty August days where it’s difficult to focus on anything but the rivers of sweat dripping down your back or the unusual chill of the plastic surface of the desks under your fingertips, the only cure to impending heat stroke. I don’t think about the boiler system that does an equally amazing job of emulating the August heat. When I think of McNicholas High School, I think of Marie Steinkühl and Anna Klug. I think of Connor Wray and Ian Phillips and Aidan Guessford. I think about Elise Nyktas and Andrew Bellamah and Kate Custer. McNick is not a place, it’s a group of people, perfectly chosen to be at a certain place at a certain time, all carving their own path through a thicket called life, occasionally lending a hand, but sometimes a smile, a hug, or a high five in the hallways. People make places. Surround yourself with the very best people the world has to offer, and you can make any place a home.
To the Milestone Staff: You guys are the most dedicated, insightful, intelligent people I have ever met. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to work alongside you all. It is a privilege and it will not soon be forgotten. Chloe, you have been not only an amazing writer, but my friend from the very beginning of our high school adventure. Thank you for teaching me the importance of individuality and the exploration of one’s gifts. Olivia, you have this fire and passion about you that just inspires everyone around you. Thank you for showing me how to embrace my own values, and what it looks like to live them out. Kristen, your understanding of the human spirit has no finite depth. You are always there to listen and offer companionship to everyone around you. Thank you for showing me how to have patience and compassion in the midst of chaos. Hallie, you are one of the most interesting people I have ever had the privilege of sharing conversation with. Your understanding of the world at large due to your experiences has prompted me to pursue an open mind. Thank you for sharing your culture and traditions with me. Paula, you carry yourself with a sense of strength and assurance that announces your presence before you even speak. You are courageous, yet gentle and kind, the perfect example of meekness. Thank you for pushing me to discover my own self-confidence.
Finally, Mrs. Noble, my freshman year in Honors English class you asked me for an adjective that could be commonly used to describe a person and I said, “Kind.” You then proceeded to thank me for not saying “Nice,” as it is a taboo. This exchange, while probably meant to encourage me, was actually quite horrifying because the only reason the word kind came out of my mouth instead of nice was due to what I assume was some sort of cosmic miracle. This was the first interaction we had in a classroom, and it marks the start of a journey into a world in which I took a hold of my passions and consciously made the decision to pursue what I love. If you had told me freshman year that I would be going to college having written multiple novels, I wouldn’t have believed you. You were the first person to treat my writing like it was something more than a 14-year old’s chicken scratch on a piece of paper, and I needed that push. Thank you for giving me the gift of writing. It is the most precious gift I have ever been given.
Have a wonderful summer, Rockets. Thank you for sharing this wonderful home with me.