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Class of 2011: Collin puts his own spin on senior year

Will Collin

This is the second story in a four-part series profiling graduating seniors at Worthington High School. The next profile will run May 7.

WORTHINGTON -- Will Collin claims to be the long-suffering victim of the affliction that typically only strikes students during their final year of high school.

"I've had senioritis since Hi-Ho," he quipped, referring to his preschool days.

Despite Will's eagerness to leave Worthington High School in his wake, he's been making the most of his last year there and has ventured into previously unexplored territory to do so.

"This last year, being a senior, I guess you come out of your shell," he said. "I don't know if it's not caring what other people think or growing to be content with yourself -- possibly too content with yourself for your own good."

Will has been widely social and involved in several sports and activities throughout his high school career, but he's gone outside his comfort zone in this final year. One of Will's more daring forays was auditioning for the high school play, "The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza," which was staged in February.

"It was really fun once I got over the embarrassment," Will reflected. "I do think I filled the toga out pretty well. ... I was really confident, then I forgot some of my lines and maybe improvised a little too much."

Will helped choreograph a homecoming pep rally skit representing the school's cross country team. Due to a bout with mononucleosis, he joined that sport this school year instead of going out for football.

"Me not going out for football was a controversy," he said, "so Jeremy Clarke and I concocted a pretty funny skit making fun of the soccer team and the football team. We made our short shorts look cool. We did Michael Jackson's 'Thriller.' It was funny."

While he enjoyed hamming it up in the spotlight on those occasions, Will isn't likely to consider an acting or dancing career. But other academic undertakings, extracurricular activities and interests have influenced what will likely be his future course of study. He'd like to be a writer, or maybe teach writing and coach track.

"I'm either going to Mankato (Minnesota State University) or Morningside (College in Sioux City, Iowa)," he shared. "Morningside, I'm told, has a really good writing program. Or maybe I could even be a literature teacher. Once crunch time comes around, I'll figure it out."

Other students have been visiting and applying to colleges for months, but Will has taken a more laidback approach and has yet to step foot on either campus he's considering. "Crunch time" to decide on a school, according to Will, is August.

"Maybe I'll just end up driving the Mobil truck -- my folks own B&J Oil," said Will, the son of Bill and Jane Collin of Worthington. "My dad told me to be sure and get a plug in for that."

Writing is an endeavor he's honed in various English courses and during the class for Trojan Times, the school's online news publication.

"I like writing. It's what I'm good at, what people tell me I'm good at," he emphasized. "I'm good at telling stories and telling jokes. I made a lot of teachers laugh with my writing. I've probably offended some, too."

Humor seemed to be Will's forte in writing for the Trojan Times, which prompts him to consider making a career out of comedy writing.

"I wrote some funny articles, funny biased articles," he said. "It probably wasn't the best journalism, but you have to keep the audience in mind. I did make fun of some of the teachers, but I always make sure I'm out of their class before I do it."

The English department is where most of his time was spent, but Will also managed to fit a few math and science classes into his schedule. His Business Professionals of America small business management team went to state and was one point away from going to the national competition, he lamented.

"I try to challenge myself, but it usually ends up with me challenging the teacher," Will said about his academic achievements.

The biggest challenge for Will's senior year might have been getting him to take a book home.

"I learned that a good teacher isn't going to force you to open a book, but a good teacher will inspire you to open a book, and a good student will open a book anyway, and I didn't open a book for four years," he admitted, adding that he somehow managed to keep a 3.4 grade point average despite his lax study skills. "I could have stayed a bit more motivated."

Motivation comes a bit easier on the track field, where Will typically runs in the 400 meter races.

"It's probably what I'm best at," he said. "I'm not the fastest on the track by any means, but I always work hard, and that's where it shows."

Will has dabbled in other sports --football, basketball, cross country -- but track has always been his favorite sporting endeavor.

"Me and the boys (track teammates) have been good since we were freshmen," he said about the camaraderie. "We developed this brotherhood, looking out for each other. ... And all my coaches -- I've really looked up to them."

In his final year of high school, Will also learned to appreciate long-distance running during the cross-country season.

"When I first went out for cross country, I wasn't able to run more than two miles," he said. "Now I can run eight miles, so cross country really helped me out."

Depending on where he ends up next year, Will might continue running track at the college level, but it's not a priority for the future, at least not as a competitor.

"If I'd go and be a teacher, I'd love to coach track and football," he said.

In addition to school and sports, Will puts in 15 to 40 hours per week at the local Pizza Hut restaurant.

"I put in some long shifts," he said. "I do it all, but normally I'm in the kitchen, much to my customers' dismay."

Pizza Hut is where he met his girlfriend, co-worker Ariana Hesemann, a junior at Southwest Star Concept in Okabena.

"I'm fortunate enough to get to go to two proms," Will said with a tinge of sarcasm in his voice.

School, sports, work and girlfriend leave little free time for Will, but he manages to put aside more than a few hours for video games and socializing with his friends

"I play my share and everyone else's share of video games. It goes hand-in-hand with hanging out with my buddies," he said. "If there's a controller in my hand, it doesn't matter what I'm playing. I've played it all."

He will tear himself away to go fishing with his dad, however, and Will enjoys spending time on the water at the family's summer home in the Iowa Great Lakes.

"We just got the house three years ago, so I'm the only child who can really reap the benefits of it," said Will, the youngest of four Collin kids.

Although Will is not sure exactly where he will be come September, he does have some vague ideas of what the future might hold 10 years down the road.

"I'll probably be finishing up my generals in college," he joked. "Seriously, I'll probably be starting a family, whether I'm teaching, coaching, writing jokes for Jay Leno or driving the Mobil truck. But whatever happens in the future, I'll have fun doing it."

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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