Linus Kaechele’s high school journey led him down a path of growth and friendship


Linus Kaechele

One our first senior staffer profiles, for Linus Kaechele, Managing Editor of Online Assignments

Senior Linus Kaechele has been told he bears the subtle scent of cucumbers, but, to him, that smell resembles happiness. 

“I have a vivid memory of someone telling me, ‘Linus, I don’t even have to know you’re here because every time I smell cucumbers, I know it’s you,’” Linus said, “and when this happened, it was just so weird and silly that it made me so happy just to be known as something a little bit good.”

To Linus, being known for something is amazing, but even more so, being known for something that is good in a world where it’s so easy to be perceived as something less than good is an accomplishment he holds dear to his heart. 

He has pushed through many obstacles to get to this point in his life, but now in his senior year, his confidence is compelling, his relationships are striking, and his overall sense of life is electrifying. 

Looking back on his past selves, he knows bearing their struggles was worth it back then because today he can feel the pride of making it to a point where other people believe in him—and he believes in himself. 

“If my past self could see me now, knowing it was me, I know [he] would be shocked beyond belief, to say the least,” Linus said. “I just know his heart would swell to see who I’ve become because even now, I have these moments of realizing how lucky I am to be as happy with myself as I am.” 

One of the crowning experiences of Linus’s senior year—that he knows his freshman year self would be proud of him for—was when he won Homecoming King. 

He was overjoyed to take part in the time-honored tradition of Homecoming Court, and it presented itself as yet another moment he could hold onto if he ever felt less than the amazing person other people see him as. 

“I’ve always been so nervous that I was just the weird kid in class,” Linus said, “so even though it might sound slightly conceited, winning Homecoming King was the most validating experience because I was just so happy to be with [those] nine other people who are some of the best and coolest people I know—and not only to be standing next to them but then to win. It was a moment I revisit [constantly], and I will never forget how proud I was.”

But Linus still believes that validation is not everything in life. He knows he would remain the kind-hearted and beautiful person he is and continuously strives to be, even if no one patted him on the back for doing it. However, having the Homecoming King experience was the validation he didn’t need but greatly appreciated. 

Some of the people who have helped him reach this point of total self-satisfaction are friends he’s had since the start of high school. 

I finally had reached this point, or feeling rather, of being in harmony with life itself.”

— Linus Kaechele

His friends and family helped him in the greatest way possible: by letting him be himself. In so many real-life situations, Linus used to find himself conforming to the portrait of what other people wanted him to be, but when he finally stopped trying to fulfill others’ expectations, he realized his friends loved him best when he was being unapologetically himself. 

“I know it’s cliché to say, but you are perfect just the way you are,” Linus said. “The more I realized that, the more comfortable I became, the more friends I developed, and the happier I became with my life in general. I finally had reached this point. or feeling rather, of being in harmony with life itself.”

Life has taught Linus his fair share of lessons, and in return, his happiness thrives, but even he has doubts sometimes. He knows that to doubt yourself is to be human. The most important thing is that you surround yourself with people: friends, family, and anyone who will be there for you when you are feeling down. 

Linus explains that friends are meant to see you the way you want to be seen—the way you know you are capable of being seen, if only someone would take the time to look, not the superficial version you put out into the world so people won’t judge you, not the version that plasters a mask on so you can’t get hurt. Friends see you for the unfiltered amazing person you know you already are, and then they amplify it because you can trust them. 

“There is a unique radiance to me that sometimes I forget,” Linus said. “Everyone has their own special qualities, special light, really just a special specialness, and when people remind me of how special I am, it reminds me of how loved I am, and really that’s what fuels my confidence: the affection my friends give me and the love for my uniqueness I give myself.”