Senior Column: Max Yanacek


Max Yanacek, Chief and Graphics Editor

Boy, the years have flown. I’ve grown so much. The future looks bright. High school has had a greater effect on me than I could have ever imagined (Bleh… cliches).

While I still can’t stand them, I now see the truth in these overused phrases. I would have never believed I’d eventually put them in a senior column, although I suppose much more has happened unexpectedly over the past four years.

I didn’t want to come to North initially. I didn’t expect to enjoy just about every part of it. I didn’t expect to meet so many friendly students and teachers. I didn’t expect to start (or, try to start, at least) a club around my passion in LEGO. I didn’t expect to participate in extracurriculars related to subjects I hadn’t performed particularly well in prior. I didn’t expect that one of these clubs would teach me more than any English class, allow me to use my written voice in stories like this, and lead me to work alongside one of the coolest people I’ll ever meet (There’s your shout out Mr. C).

Despite this, unlike what I’ve heard from many of my peers, I don’t feel like I’ll miss high school when it’s officially over (as of now, anyway). While that makes it sound like I couldn’t wait for high school to end, that couldn’t be further from the truth; the past four years have been the best of my life thus far. It was the first time that I’ve been able to choose what I learn, allowing me to set the course for my future. In the grand scheme of things, high school is a stepping stone–not at all in a degrading way–but in a way that implies progress and preparation, and I’m grateful for that.

From the few life experiences I have, I can’t help but think the pattern will repeat; high school was truly amazing, but things can only get better as I continue to zero in on what I will do for the rest of my life.

Speaking of which…

Younger me would be so happy (although unsurprised) that I’m going to school for art. I had failed to recognize the career potential over the years, and high school finally reignited the passion for me, taking what had interested me for as long as I can remember and building on it with the things I’ve gained an interest in.

My passion led to my acceptance at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) where I will attend this fall, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue developing skills in everything from painting to engineering, surrounding myself with tons of creative people in a brand new environment. It should be a ton of fun.

I urge those of you who still have some high school left to go to take a little step back; think about why you are here and how what you do now will affect your future. A North education offers an incredible opportunity and a priceless tool when utilized. Work hard to take advantage of the opportunity to develop who you are. Be the oddball (the LEGO kid, in my case) and embrace what makes you unique.

You’re not alone on your journey; teachers genuinely care about you, personally and academically. Forming relationships with your teachers becomes the difference between getting through a class and looking forward to it every day. Believe it or not, your teachers can be some of your best friends.

So many of my teachers deserve so much thanks:

I feel privileged to have learned art from three of the most diversely talented people I know; I have you to thank for the incredible amount I’ve learned in, looking back, a pretty short amount of time. My math, science, and history teachers were always incredibly helpful and fun, and my English teachers each gave me such a unique perspective on their subject. It was an absolute pleasure to be in all of your classes.

With that said, I guess this is it: the last thing I’ll write in my high school career. 

Thanks for reading (and everything else).

Play well.