The Next Chapter

Lily Christensen’s journey though high school.


The Christensen family.

Alyssa Chavez, Staff Writer

2020 has been a crazy year for everyone, but for some students, these are their final moments in high school, which can be a hard pill to swallow during these tough times. 

Lily Christensen is a senior at Erie High School who plans on attending Grand Canyon University and studying Psychology. When looking back on her high school experience, Christensen noted one thing that high school has taught her.

“High school has taught me that kindness really matters, even just a little bit of kindness can go a long way. You never know who you will have to work with, and you never know what someone is going through,” Christensen stated.

Lily Christensen, a senior at Erie High School.

You experience a lot of fun, amazing moments throughout your high school career that you will remember forever. For Christensen, her favorite moments of high school were the sports.

“I loved going to football games. Being in the stands yelling the chants, throwing the baby powder at kickoff, and pep rallies before a big game. It was just so fun to all be together and show our school spirit,” says Christensen.

For the freshman who will be coming into Erie High as Christensen leaves, she only has two pieces of very important advice. 

“Even though you are an underclassmen, your grades really do matter. I definitely slacked off freshman and sophomore year, and regret it very much. So work hard your first few years because those are the years that matter,” Lily Christensen explains, “And I would like to say that in hard times, hold on, and push through it. Even though it seems like eternity in the moment, it’s only four years of high school, you will get through it. Hard times don’t last forever,” Christensen continued.   

Ending a chapter of your life and beginning a new one is a very scary and challenging thing to go through in such uncertain times, but Christensen is ready for whatever comes her way. 

“I am scared, but I feel ready. My parents did a great job of raising my brother and I to be prepared to leave the house. I know how to cook, I can do my own laundry, all that fun stuff. But I am a little scared to be living without my parents,” states Christensen.  

Before Christensen leaves for college, she wants to make sure her parents know how much she appreciates everything they have done for her. 

“I would like to thank my parents for always being there for me and being extremely patient with me. I have done a lot of stupid stuff, but they have always supported me and helped me get through so much,” says Lily Christensen. 

Matt Christensen, Lily’s father, could not be prouder that his youngest child is getting ready to graduate high school.

“It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short months, Lily will be graduating high school and heading off to college. The past 18 years have been such an amazing journey, watching Lily grow from a little girl into a beautiful and caring young woman,” Matt states, “I am excited and nervous for her, knowing that the years ahead will be filled with fun experiences and both good and challenging times. What gives me hope is that I know she is ready for this next phase of life and that, when needed, her mom and I, plus her brother, will be here to love and support her through everything that comes her way,” Matt Christensen continues. 

Matt Christensen has a favorite memory he always thinks about when realizing how much Lily Christensen has grown up.


Young Lily Christensen.

“Lily had a few dozen stuffed animal dogs when she was little. She named each and every one of them ‘Skippy.’ So when we got a real dog, there was only one possible name, Skippy, even though the dog was a female,” Matt Christensen says. 

Matt Christensen has high hopes to see Lily Christensen succeed and help those around her.

“In five years, I see Lily having completed her college degree and beginning to dive into a job or career that she is passionate and excited about.  She will be doing something that she loves, maybe something where she can care for, support, or help others in some way.”

Matt Christensen has one final message for his daughter before she leaves to embark on this new chapter of her life.

“I am the luckiest dad on earth to have been blessed with such a kind, loving, intelligent, and beautiful daughter. I will always be on her team and will be there to support her no matter what,” Matt Christensen states.

Melissa Christensen, Lily’s mother, is so excited to see Lily graduate in a few short months.

“It is exciting! We will miss Lily so much when she goes away to college, but I am so excited for her to start this next stage of life. I cannot wait to see what it holds for her,” says Melissa Christensen. 

Melissa Christensen wishes nothing but the best for her daughter as she starts this new chapter in her life.

“I want to see her happy! It is fun to think about her in her future career or traveling or living in a different place, but most of all I just want to see her happy,” Melissa Christensen states.

Melissa Christensen’s favorite memory of young Lily Christensen has a hilarious story to it.

“We used to read books together. In the middle of a story, she would ask me to pause so she could go to the mirror and make the faces of whatever emotion the character was feeling so that she could see what they felt,’” Melissa explains.

But as Lily Christensen grows up and is getting ready to leave the house, Melissa Christensen has one final message for her daughter.

“I always remind her that it may not be a straight path from where she is to where she wants to be. She might make choices that change her path or have life circumstances that create obstacles she has to work around, but that never means it’s the end of the road. She can still get to wherever it is in life that she wants to be,” Melissa Christensen says.


The Christensen family.

Even through the hard times, there is always love and support from the people around you. For Lily, it is obvious that she has all the love and support in the world.