‘The world is always changing. I can resist all I want, but sooner or later, it will change me.’

Matt Antonic, Sports Editor

For the last 18-and-a-half years of my life,  this is the only place I’ve known. I’ve known one family, one house and one high school. But in a few weeks, that life will be history, and so will we, the class of 2015.

Times are changing, they say, and they’re right.

Only a few more days, they say, and they’re right.

It’s time to go, folks. We made it, so give yourself a pat on the back. But before you just run away into the rest of your life, let’s look back on some of the things that have made us, including myself, the graduating seniors we are today.

Put on your imagination hat, glove or what have you, and take yourself back to 1996. The land we know today was a drastically different place — farmland and prairie and small-town America.

But things change. Change is noisy, always banging on the door. The people came, houses went up and the noise grew.

I’ll admit, I liked it better when it was open and quiet. It’s the way I am, an extremely conservative guy. I am not a fan of change. After all, I’ve lived in the same house my entire life.

The world is changing. I can resist all I want, but sooner or later, it will change me.

The most popular theme in referring to our home, Johnson County, is that it is sort of a “bubble,” but it isn’t what we think.

We don’t come to a school with fights in the halls. Our peers are not gang members, and our “problems” pale in comparison to kids in the inner-cities.

For the most part, we enjoy stable households, two-car garages and streetlights. That is what the true definition of the “bubble” is. It isn’t wearing Vineyard Vines or driving new cars or having a stay-at-home mom.

Kids all over the country have those advantages, but they don’t necessarily go to a school that gives out a $10 bill every Tuesday.

Don’t leave this school with no intention of returning. Come back on breaks. Visit teachers who made our experiences memorable. Relive the Friday Night Lights. Stop in to say hello to Mr. Bacon. Respect what this amazing school has done for you.

To the majority of us who are continuing to college, it’s quite an exciting feeling, but there are many choices that you will make that will shape your future.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it — you will meet kids who try alcohol mixes and drug combinations you have never even heard of. Cheating will see some of your classmates expelled and their careers ruined. It’s up to you how to handle yourself.

Our youthful “fail-safes,” the second chances some people got for stupid mistakes such as MIPs or drugs, will begin to disappear. It only takes one person to report a mistake and one mistake to ruin a career. If you want to be a drunk on campus instead of being productive, enjoy life behind a cash register.

I’m not going to give you the same old message about making the most of your time left. You know if you are sentimental about your childhood or not. But there are things you have time to enjoy before it’s all gone. Enjoy your school dances, parades, pep rallies and sporting events. But it is all just a blip on the radar of your whole life.

And now, enough about all of you, and a little more about me. Many of you have known me in some way since I arrived at Blue River in kindergarten. You may have known me as a nice, funny or weird. I don’t necessarily show my full personality walking through the halls.

But here’s a reality check — I won’t see half of you ever again. For that, I have regret in that so many people I have interacted with over the years will be up and gone, spread all over the country to live their lives.

But I have hope that the technology that has bred social media will allow us all to remain connected long after the ink on our diplomas has dried.

I take great pride in hard work. It has gotten me far in high school — Eagle Scout, newspaper sports editor and a spot on the soccer team make a not too shabby record.

I’m off to the University of Missouri to study journalism at one of America’s finest institutes. The people closest to me have always known I bleed black and gold and always will. I have great hope for my future as a Missouri Man.

When I graduate, I just may stay in        Kansas City. I love it here.

But change will not wait for me. My career may wisk me all the way to the coasts or down to Texas. Who knows? I hope all of you are ready to take on the challenges the world offers today. But whether or not we are ready, it’s time to go.

Goodbye, good luck and godspeed.