To have double zeroes placed on letterman jackets is a cool thing for Brainerd High School seniors who will be the first class to graduate in the new millennium.
However, they still have the same anxieties and excitement as the graduates who went before them.
At Brainerd High School, 494 seniors will be walking down the aisle this spring to receive their diplomas to begin a new part of their life. Some seniors will be pursuing a college degree, while others plan to work.
Five seniors last week took time out of their busy schedules to talk about their fears and goals in life . These goals range from being a football player, a mathematician, a pilot, a marine biologist and a doctor. All have questions on what lies ahead, but all are excited to meet new friends and start anew.
Mitch Feierabend plans to attend Bemidji State University and will major in physics or engineering and he also plans to play football. He said he loves high school, but knows he will fit in at college.
Adam Hahn, high school class president, will pursue an aviation degree at the University of North Dakota. Currently, he is working on earning his pilot's license. His father is a crop duster and Hahn has been around several airports and fell in love with airplanes.
Julie Moran is traveling east to attend Union College in New York and may major in mathematics.
Laura Furda and Erika Nunnick plan to attend St. Benedict's College in St. Joseph to major in biology. Both of them looked at several schools before choosing one and liked the atmosphere at the college. Nunnick also plans to be on the swimming team.
But no matter where the seniors go, they hope to be successful in their studies, sports and life in general.
"This will be my first step on being on my own," said Hahn. "This will give me a chance to prove myself.
"I have a goal to fly a private jet for Tiger Woods (golf professional)." he added.
Furda said she is a little scared to move on from high school because she has been with the same people for so many years that it will be different to not see them everyday.
However, she plans to make the most of the time she has left in high school. Furda and the rest of the seniors interviewed all have one more sport to play this spring and plan to make the most of it.
The seniors have many memories that start with kindergarten. Members of the BHS Class of 2000 were given a graduation ceremony when they were 6 years old. The day was filled with fun activities and they each received a free T-shirt and gold and blue balloons.
More recent memories include times the five students have served on student council. They planned several dances they will always remember.
During a Christmas ball the area was going to be decorated with Christmas trees. Moran said when the order came in they received a box full of trees that resembled palm trees. They then had to scramble to find artificial Christmas trees.
"The day before the dance I got a call to see if I had a tree," said Hahn. "I said yea I have a tree, but there are presents under it."
Nunnick and Hahn set up 500 lights for another dance and plugged all the lights into one outlet. The lights stayed on for a few minutes, but then the fuse blew and they didn't have lights for the rest of the night.
Moran remembers ninth-grade mathematics class with Mr. Brakke. She said the class was fun and she learned a lot. The class didn't seem like work, she said.
Feierabend remembers painful memories as well. In ninth grade, he sumo wrestled another person and his nose was broken and he had to get six stitches. Another time he pinched his hand between tables and had another eight stitches added to his list. During his high school career these occurrences were common.
One lingering question about the 2000 graduation ceremony is whether to conduct the ceremony inside or outside, said Principal Steve Razidlo.
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