17 Signs You Graduated From Anoka High School
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17 Signs You Graduated From Anoka High School

There's no place like home, or half-apps after the football game.

17 Signs You Graduated From Anoka High School
Edina Debate

There's no doubt Anoka is a special place, but what made it that way? Was it the students and faculty that felt more like a community? Its deeply rooted traditions? Famous alumni? For each student and graduate it's something different, but we can all agree that there's no place we would have rather created so many memories.

1. Halloween is your favorite holiday.

Some things are just meant to be: Macaroni and cheese, thunder and lighting, Anoka and Halloween. What started as a way to divert kids from pulling pranks has turned into a permanent tradition. The Halloween Capital of the World has been hosting huge celebrations since 1920 and you wouldn't have it any other way.

2. You signed your name on the top of the rock climbing wall.

Before they tore it down to create that new "state of the art" one, that is. I'm sure the new wall is great, but students now won't know the pain of the wall climbs, the the fear of walking across the ceiling beam, or the challenge of the climb where you suspended yourself from those questionable two-by-fours on the ceiling. When the last day of climbing came, you were so excited to finally leave your mark on the wall.

3. You had to travel to get to your football games.

The visiting team wasn't the only team bus at the field, but having Goodrich to live out your glory days at wasn't all bad. With that much history and tradition, how could you complain?

4. Half-priced appetizers was the best.

You were willing to wait 45 minutes for a table after a Friday night football game, just to see your friends and get some half-price mozzarella sticks.

5. Visiting Blaine High School only confused you.

With its set-up being nearly identical, the place felt so familiar, yet so unknown. Clearly, Blaine found Anoka to be the model high school of the district (literally).

6. You thought you knew pretty much everyone, but at graduation you realized you have never been so wrong.

With over 2,000 students, the school should've felt like a New York City sidewalk, but it always felt like the place where all your friends were and you could name seemingly everyone you walked past in the hall -- which is why it was so weird that you actually didn't know half of your class. Could that many people really be full-time PSEO students?

7. You ran into people you knew at McDonalds, even at 3 a.m.

Or should I say, it was even more likely to run into someone you knew at that time of night. Besides, what else was there to do in Anoka after midnight?

8. You could always be found at taco night on a Monday.

I guess us Anokians really love our food. I can't complain about that, but I can complain about the recent jump in price for tacos. However, it shouldn't matter so much considering you were willing to spend the $5 on queso anyway.

9. You heard rumors about the underground tunnels from the treatment center.

Before it became a state-of-the-art facility and we weren't sure how to treat people who were mentally ill, the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center was called "First State Asylum for the Insane." How could those tunnels not be haunted with a name like that? If you were really a daredevil, then you went and checked them out yourself and always came back with a crazy story to tell.

10. You had to run hills by the cemetery.

Speaking of the treatment center, many people who died at the facility were buried in unmarked graves at the cemetery next to the entrance to the high school. Being the closest sizable hill, coaches often made you run right up to the cemetery gate over and over and over again.

11. Other schools were jealous you casually got to canoe down the river in gym.

Anoka is derived from the Dakota word A-NO-KA-TAN-HAN meaning, "on both sides of the river," and the Ojibwa word ON-O-KAY meaning, "working waters," according to the City of Anoka. This is convenient considering the importance the Rum River played in the high school's gym, science and Outdoor Adventure classes. Cold water rescue was a fun bonus. Hope all the other schools had fun playing floor hockey inside!

12. "A-Town with a Downtown" and "The Real A-Town" were the themes of your high school years.

Sorry Andover, but you've got to admit that we were here first and Main Street is pretty darn cool.

13. Superfan knew more about you than some of your friends did.

It was OK if your parents couldn't make it to your game because Superfan Jeff Nelson (no, Superfan is not his birth name, though it probably could've been) was always there to support you. You didn't even have to be a varsity athlete. Superfan came to support everyone. We all know he's the real MVP.

14. You were confused when schools had formal homecoming dances.

All we did was head back to the high school after the game to dance to a DJ in the cafeteria, still wearing the face pant that had either half sweated off in the heat or half cracked off in the cold, depending on the year.

15. You knew a tornado was always the best mascot.

A husky, Bengal tiger, cardinal or rebel all could've put up a pretty good fight against each other (except for maybe a cardinal, sorry Coon Rapids), but there was nothing that could've saved them from being swept up in the winds of a tornado. Not to mention, the mascot is named after the 1939 tornado that ripped through Main Street. History can be pretty neat.

16. You're pretty sure you'll never stop hearing about Garrison Keillor.

You used to care less about the fact that Garrison Keillor went to Anoka. He wasn't Beyoncé and who even listened to Public Radio anyway? But soon enough, you realized that Garrison Keillor attending the same high school as you is pretty darn cool and now you are proud to tell people that fun fact whenever he happens to come up in conversation. Plus, that year he donated books to all the students was awesome.

17. You know the Anoka family is real.

At first, you thought the Anoka family was just some hokey fantasy saying that Farley tried to promote, but let's be real, it was high school. We made some pretty dumb decisions and went through some pretty trying times, but with the support of the Anoka family, we knew we could make it through anything and made some awesome memories along the way.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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