Graduation is less than 200 days away, and as I think about moving on to the next chapter of my life, I’m starting to take a look at what it was like to be a freshman.

Starting high school is a big deal. It’s the start of the next four years that ultimately will go by faster than you think.

I know that when I was a freshman, I didn’t really think about graduation per se, but I was ready to be done with high school.

I don’t think that people are really enjoying and taking everything in when they are younger. Everybody grows up, and we can’t get back that time.

I would tell current freshmen to live in the present. Don’t worry about what is going to happen tomorrow or how many more years you have until graduation.

It catches up to you faster than you think.

I’ve had a countdown till graduation since school started.

I am starting to realize that yes, I am excited about what’s going to happen next, but I can’t forget that I still have a year of memories to make with my classmates, friends and teammates.

Also, all you freshmen out there, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

High school may seem scary for some — and there are going to be some bad times — but it will also be some of the best times of your life.

The homework and all the learning isn’t what is going to make your time in high school one to remember.

The times that you laugh with your classmates or someone makes fun of somebody, but you all know it’s a joke. Even the times that you fall down the stairs will be something that you will look back on and laugh.

To you, you may have an eternity left in high school, but trust me, soon you’ll be completely a lot of your lasts. Don’t regret anything, live fully and have fun.

It’s going be a fun ride in the end, even if you’re scared at first.

In other news

Kenny Blank, Lutheran High Northeast’s first-year boys basketball coach, lists several of his former coaches as influences — his high school coach at Lutheran High, Greg Rathke; Concordia University men’s coach Ben Limback; previous Eagles coach Darin Suckstorf, former University of Nebraska…

Later today you’ll need to visit your nearest grocery outlet and purchase as many frozen French fries as they currently have in their freezer case. Trust me. In February these frozen spuds will be worth their frozen weight in gold.

Like many people, I’ve long known of Henry David Thoreau and his famous stay at Walden Pond, but until recently, I only knew the most famous quotes from Walden – the ones that have made appearances in movies or been used in other pieces of writing.