Guest Column

Determine what’s important and pursue that

By Jace Bohlman
Posted 5/26/22

Good afternoon Class of 2022! I would like to thank all the family and friends here to support us and celebrate with us as we close out the last four years of our lives. 

I would also like to …

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Guest Column

Determine what’s important and pursue that


Good afternoon Class of 2022! I would like to thank all the family and friends here to support us and celebrate with us as we close out the last four years of our lives. 

I would also like to thank this great institution. We truly have some amazing teachers who have made a huge impact on my life as well as many others. Thank you, and then to you Class of 2022, it has truly been a grand accomplishment getting through this last semester, between getting coffee at Uncommon Grounds and attending our once a week college class, I am surprised we all did it. 

In all seriousness, over the last four years we have all worked very hard to get to wear this cap and gown today. I would like to recognize all the hard work and long hours this class has gone through to reach their goals and even fly past them. 

Our class has done some amazing things as individuals, but more notably as a team. I look at our state title for the girls’ track team in 2021, the myriad of amazing works of art displayed in our school, how we threw those plays together in the last week before the show, and the incredible success of the robotics team getting them to the international level. While we may or may not have kick started a few habits during our time here, including Mr. Hunt’s Mountain Dew addiction, we have also marked ourselves as a force to be reckoned with.

As we take all this success and knowledge forward, let’s not forget our Ignition program lessons taught by Kara Miller on making SMART goals. And when making these goals that will help shape our careers, families, and impact those around us, please keep in mind this quote by the philosopher and poet, Lil Wayne, “Too much money, Ain’t enough money.”

 In all seriousness, my hope for you is to discover what is important to you, and more importantly why. I have worked so hard for goals and made sacrifices concerning my wellbeing for things that in hindsight did not make sense. 

For example, I think I could have settled for a slightly lower score on Mr. Smith’s chemistry test over stoichiometry. I am not trying to diminish the importance of stoichiometry to my future and the stability of society itself, but I most likely could have gotten at least three more hours of sleep that night and the world would have kept turning. 

And then, once you have determined why something is important to you, choose to pursue it even when it’s hard and you don’t want to, because it is important. 

Moving forward, I hope we all learn more about the world, different cultures, different skills — like how to build a picnic table with your grandpa or how to paint, and learn to slow down and fully enjoy the little crazy, weird things about life. 

I would like to share one quick story about an odd occurrence that many of you guys might remember from our freshman year. 

It was the mandatory first year PE class and we were learning the art of “tennis-ing” it up out on the courts, but sadly it started to rain. We all started scurrying off the court and getting inside out of the rain. Well, something, or should I say someone else, must have made its way inside and out of the rain as well, because as we enter the gym, the scattered screams signify that a little wet mouse has entered the gym. 

Bad decision, little mouse. I didn’t know what was going on, but luckily there was already a group of guys on the job to catch this mouse. The mouse is chased all around the gym while Mrs. Fluty is trying to find a janitor, because what else is she going to do to take care of it? 

The whole class is captivated by this little mouse and riding along with it on its emotional roller coaster. 

The mouse runs over into the corner and starts a line drive for the group of spectators over here — all seems to be lost. The mouse is going to attack. Then out of nowhere, Toran comes out, lifts his knee up to his chest, and with the most force that I have ever seen someone stomp, splits the mouse right in two. Half the gym screams on the spot. 

This story and memories like this are what make life so interesting, and are so valuable to carry with us. So I hope you and I never forget to appreciate them.

So apparently, when giving a valedictorian speech, you are supposed to impart some level of wisdom. 

I don’t know how my GPA is somehow correlated with wisdom, but I’m going to give it a shot. 

When pondering all the wisdom I have, I wanted to reflect on a big lesson I have learned from this last year. 

Over the last year, I have had a series of doors slammed in my face. 

It started with getting turned down for an internship with a clinic in Guatemala, took a stop at not getting an interview for a scholarship I had been working towards since middle school, and ended with finding out I cannot defer my scholarship (which I am super grateful for) for a year-long Bible Institution. 

While these may seem pretty insignificant in comparison to a lot of other issues going on, this is the world I lived in as a high school student.

A simple lesson I learned with these experiences was that with every closed door, God opens an opportunity that you can be sure he will use in both your life and in my life, and this is what’s important to me. 

Because when I think about goal setting, this is what I want my main focus to be: bringing glory to God. 

So when things don’t go exactly as you wish they should, think about how much there is left to do and learn, think about Toran squishing that mouse and the valuable memories we carry with us, and know that God has a plan for you. 

Thank you and God Bless!

Guest Column