Senior Column: Grace Vanderhei


Grace Vanderhei, Chief Editor

As I approach my final days as an Oshkosh North student, I can’t help but feel nostalgic thinking of all the wonderful teachers and classmates who have made my high school experience so memorable.  

I never would have thought one school could have such a large impact on my growth as a person. Four years ago, I began high school as an unconfident, shy fourteen-year-old girl. From then, I have not only adopted confidence in myself and my decisions, but I have also learned to be appreciative of every opportunity, stand up for what I believe in, and to work hard for everything.

Many of the lessons I’ve acquired throughout high school have largely been influenced by others in my life, including classmates and teachers.

Every teacher at North has had an impact on my education, and their commitment to the students and their passion for their work is truly inspiring and something I will remember forever. Nevertheless, there have been a few teachers that have had an outstanding impact on me as an individual. First, I would like to thank Señora Rodríguez, who has opened my eyes to a new culture and all the possibilities that come from studying a new language; also, that hard work always pays off and, with a little effort, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Next, Mr. Pollack, thank you for being one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of having; your class has taught me to be more confident in myself as not only a writer, reader, and student, but also in my abilities. Finally, Mr. Cummings, thank you for recognizing my potential as a writer and as a person, for believing in my abilities even when I didn’t, and for always being an advocate for your students and what you think is right—  you have truly inspired me to do the same in life.

If I could give one piece of advice to  the underclassmen, I would tell them to have more fun in high school. Although academics are incredibly important, never sacrifice time with friends and family. The one regret from high school I have is letting my school work interfere with social affairs. Reflecting on my high school career, I have endured many nights of studying and stressing over assignments that instead could’ve been spent with my friends and loved ones. Take it from me, high school goes by in a blink of an eye, don’t let an opportunity to have fun pass you by. 

As for me, next year I will attend UW- Madison, a goal of mine since seventh grade, as a student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to pursue a degree in biology; I hope to one day work in the health field where I can apply my passion for science to help others. 

It’s hard to think that next year I won’t be sitting in the same classrooms, walking in the same hallways, and seeing the same familiar faces that I’ve come to know and love over the years. Nevertheless, I am certain that the time I’ve spent at Oshkosh North has prepared me for whatever the future has in store. Once again, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for all those who have supported me and the entire class of 2020 throughout our journey to graduation— thank you for all you do!