Always remember how you get to where youíre going

Roland Away - Mitchell Roland

Roland Away

Mitchell Roland

In life, always remember how you get to where you're going

During my senior year in high school, I decided that I wasn't going to college.

I didn't know what I wanted to do, and I wasn't closing the door on ever going, all I knew was that at that time college was not the right fit for me.

I still remember how much I hated the questions of what I wanted to do in life or if I was going to go to college.

I hated them because honestly, I did not have an answer.

The fall after I graduated, when my friends were off moving to school, I got a job at a Dominos. If I wasn't going to go to go to school, I knew that I needed to do something.

While working there, I became worried. I had a panic attack in my car in the parking lot one day because I didn't know what I wanted to do in life.

Luckily, I have very supportive parents who allowed me the time to sort everything out. They allowed me the time to figure out what my next step was going to be.

After a year of making and eventually delivering pizzas, I enrolled at Highline. I still remember my first day at Highline, when I realized that this was the place I needed to be.

I knew I loved to write, and after two quarters I began to work at our school newspaper.

Nearly two years later, after 111 columns, edits and stories (I counted) and countless hours spent in the newsroom, this is my last issue with the Thunder- word.

Through both Highline and the Thunderword, I have been able to meet some awesome people and to some extremely fun and challenging things. While it has not always been easy, it has certainly been an ad- venture.

This fall, I will transfer to Eastern Washington University in continued pursuit of a journalism degree. As I thought about what I wanted to write in one last column, I became reflective of my time at Highline and all of the people who helped me get to this point.

When I was growing up, my grandparents were always there for me.

If I was sick, they would drive over from their house in West Seattle and take care of me for the day. If I had a game, they were there. If I had a concert or performance, I knew that they would be in the crowd to sup- port me.

I can still taste plums from the tree that my grandparents had in their front yard.

During Christmas time, one of the things I looked forward to the most was an annual ad- vent calendar from them.

I have very fond memories of them, and they had a lasting and profound impact on my life.

One of the things that I learned from my grandfather was to always continue to learn.

I remember going over to their house, and my grandpa had two books on his night- stand: A college level physics

book and the Webster's dictionary. He taught me to never be content with knowing what you know.

Although both of my grandparents died when I was in high school, I think about them and the lessons I learned from them often. In my Grandma's eulogy, I read a Warren Buffett quote that said, "Someone is sitting in shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

To me, that quote means to never forget who helped you. No one who is successful did it alone, everyone receives help along the way.

That day, I made a promise to them that I would not for- get those who helped me get to where I am today and made possible what I am doing. I can say that I am where I am today because of my grandparents. Without them, I would not be sitting in the shade.

I'm truly thankful of every- one who worked to get me to this point. To T.M., Gene, my fellow editors, my professors, my parents, my brothers and everyone else who helped me get here: thank you.

And if I can offer some ad- vice to my fellow graduates, let it be this:

As you close this chapter on your life and prepare to embark on your next adventure, I encourage you to stop and think for a couple of minutes about the sacrifices others have made for you.

Always remember to thank those who helped you along the way. No one succeeds in life on their own, there were people along the way that helped you get there.

Always remember how you get to where youíre going

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