15 things I’ll miss about Elder

Like most seniors, I’m beginning to realize my time at Elder is running out. This year has been the best year of them all, and it’s crazy to think that this is the last month. Elder has given us friendships that will last a lifetime, the skills to succeed in college, and identities. As I get closer and closer to graduation, I’ve found myself thinking about all of the things I’ll miss about Elder, so here are 15 of the things I’ll miss most about Elder:

1) The people  

If you’ve ever met Mr. Ploehs, you probably realized right away that he loves Elder with all of his heart. One of his biggest philosophies about Elder is that it’s not the building, the courses, or the sports that makes it special, it’s the people. I couldn’t agree more with that philosophy. Coming from St. Ignatius grade school, I knew only 8 other kids going to Elder. Since coming into Elder as a freshman, teachers, faculty members, and my fellow classmates have created an environment conducive for my development both as a student and as a person. For that, I am forever grateful.

2) Classes

If it were any other school, this inclusion would seem ludicrous. However, I think most seniors would agree that they actually enjoy coming to school. At school, we’re surrounded by friends and teachers who care about us. I’ve yet to meet a teacher at Elder who doesn’t care about his or her students. Some teachers may be harder than others, but if that’s the case it’s likely because they want us to be the absolute best students we can be.

The K112 Kairos leaders.
Alex Wertz
The K112 Kairos leaders.

3) Kairos

I went on Kairos twice during my senior year, and those six days spent on retreat were some of the best days of my life. My first Kairos was interesting as the one being on retreat. During that time, I learned about the meaning of Kairos and got to know a lot of my classmates whom I had never previously talked to. As a leader, I carried over what  I learned from my first Kairos and tried my best to create a positive experience for my group members. Kairos was an overall great experience, it allowed me to step back and reflect on my life, then come back to Elder with a renewed sense of purpose in life.

4) Lunches

Lunches have to be one of the most underrated parts of Elder. I’m not sure which I’ll miss more, the Chicken Supreme, the Cory Burger, or the Panther Pizza; however, I know I’ll miss waiting in line for a great lunch. Elder offers so many great meals throughout the month, and all manage to still stay fairly healthy.

5) Elder cookies

I know it’s a part of lunch, but not singling out the Elder cookies would just be downright disrespectful. Those handcrafted beauties have been a staple of the Elder lunch experience. Hopefully next year my brother will bring home some cookies for me every now and then.

The Pit filled up on a Friday night.
The Pit filled up on a Friday night.

6) The Pit

The Pit is undoubtedly one of the most definitive features of Elder. Beyond being a nationally recognized high school football stadium, the Pit has allowed generations of Elder to students to create long-lasting memories. Whether it be in the cheering section or on the field, there’s nothing like a Friday night in the Pit.

7) The cheering section

Elder sporting events are great alone, but what makes them as amazing as they are is the atmosphere provided by the cheering sections. I’ve loved being a part of the cheering sections over the years.

8) Homeroom

I can’t speak for every homeroom on this one, but over the past four years my homeroom has become really close. Rather than sulking into school in the morning and not talking to anyone, my homeroom is very social in the morning. We’re always talking to each other about anything and everything.

9) Elder Fest

Elder Fest is indisputably the best school day of the year. No classes. No testing. No homework. Just having fun with classmates doing things you love. You could do nothing at all and just relax, or you can get involved with a ton of different tournaments and have a full schedule. Elder Fest is whatever you want to make of it, and that’s the best part about it.

10) Purple Fridays

I know I’ll still be able to don my Elder gear on Fridays, but it won’t be the same since I won’t be able to walk through the halls and see everyone else wearing purple. Purple Fridays are a tradition at Elder, I’ll still be a part of it wherever I may be, but I’ll miss spending my Purple Fridays at Elder.

Coach James speaking at the pep rally before the Elder-Highlands football game in 2013.
The Purple Quill
Coach James speaking at the pep rally before the Elder-Highlands football game in 2013.

11) Pep rallies

Even as a senior, I still remember my first pep rally at Elder as a freshman. My first pep rally at Elder as when I realized how awesome Elder really is. Our students are crazy about our sports teams, and that passion showed that day. Over the years I continued to enjoy all of the pep rallies, with each pep rally becoming more and more special as I neared my final one here at Elder. I may be moving onto a school with a tremendous amount of school spirit in Indiana (see candy-striped pants), but I’ll forever regard Elder as the most spirited group of people I have ever been a part of.

12) Religion classes

Sitting in Lifestyles on my first day of this semester, I thought to myself, “Wow, this is the last religion class you’ll ever take.” For the most part, I enjoyed all of my religion classes at Elder. It’s definitely going to be strange not having a religion class next year in college.

13) Wearing the purple uniforms

Having to wear a uniform all the time can be annoying, but there’s something special about wearing an Elder uniform. Purple is a unique color, and I’m going to miss wearing it everyday at school. Not wearing a uniform next year is going to be strange. Who knows, I might just show up to my first day wearing an Elder polo and khakis.

14) Going to school with my brother

My brother Jack is a freshman here at Elder. Before Elder, we weren’t all that close–we kind of did our own things. However, this past year at Elder together has made us closer than ever before. By going to such an amazing school together, we’re able to bond over our love for all things Elder. Elder has significantly improved my relationship with my brother, and I’m indefinitely thankful for that.

15) The Quill

Yeah, I know, including The Quill on this list might sound cheesy, but I really am going to miss it. I’ll avoid getting too worked up about my time here on The Quill until my senior reflection, but my year here in The Quill has been amazing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning ways to write to specific audiences will expressing my opinions along the way. Over this past year, I’ve learned that being able to effectively express my thoughts and opinions is an invaluable tool in life. I will always appreciate my time here with The Quill.