Contrary to popular belief, high school does in fact end. Today is May 15.
In part because of a restless night of sleep interrupted by thunder claps and flashes of lightning, I ended up sleeping half my day away. I didn’t even get out of bed until nearly 11:30 a.m. I didn’t have any specific plans for the day, so I wandered out of my room to see what the rest of the world was up to. After checking my phone, I quickly realized today was the scheduled last day of high school for seniors, at which point Bowling for Soup’s song “High School Never Ends” immediately came to mind.
To honor the graduating seniors who have been part of the newspaper family this past year, I decided to make individual posts for each of them on Bearing News’ Instagram account. To do this, I reached out to the senior staff members asking them to send me one of their senior photos and a blurb about what their favorite memory from their time on staff this year is. I got a couple responses right off the bat, so I got to work after making myself a bowl of oatmeal for brunch.
To honor the graduating seniors who have been part of the newspaper family this past year, I decided to make individual posts for each of them on Bearing News’ Instagram account. To do this, I reached out to the senior staff members asking them to send me one of their senior photos and a blurb about what their favorite memory from their time on staff this year is.”
There are 12 senior staff members, including myself, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. During the regular school year we would take photos with the seniors to create a countdown calendar until their last day of high school. Because that wasn’t possible this year, I wanted to create a similar experience, just with a touch more heart (similar to the nice notes I’ll be writing in the very near future). I’m a sentimental person by nature, and I wanted to create something for my fellow seniors so they know how much I appreciate and value them. I’m not great with expressing this in person all the time, but I do sincerely love each and every one of them. I couldn’t have had the experience I did this year without them, so I wanted to say thank you in my own way.
I was planning on writing 11 posts (the missing one would have been myself) because I feel guilty and vain whenever I write praise about myself, which is what I was doing for everyone else. My mom made me promise to write one about myself, however, and I was about to start typing when I saw a text from Audrey Snyder, a photographer on staff, asking me the same information (photo and blurb) I’d asked each of my peers today. Soon after she texted, my co-Editor-In-Chief reached out to me as well, wanting the same information. Laughing, I gave it to them both and told them they should probably coordinate with each other. I’m a little nervous to see what they say, which is probably the part of me that loves to be in complete control of everything, but I am also deeply touched they thought to do one for me in the first place.
“I’m a sentimental person by nature, and I wanted to create something for my fellow seniors so they know how much I appreciate and value them. I’m not great with expressing this in person all the time, but I do sincerely love each and every one of them. I couldn’t have had the experience I did this year without them, so I wanted to say thank you in my own way.”
For each of the 11 people I wrote for, I did my best to honestly express to them how important I think they are and tell them all the ways in which they were vital parts of the staff this past year. I found I have some favorite words such as “passionate,” “dedicated” and “creative,” but honestly I’m glad I can so honestly say these kind words about them, even if I am afraid my writing got redundant. With each staff member’s description I included his or her name and position on staff. I also provided specific anecdotes and described some of the impressive work everyone did this year. I loved getting to see all of their stunning senior pictures, and I had a great time remembering the exciting adventures and crazy late nights we shared by reading their favorite memories.
I am so excited (and a little nervous) to see what Anna and Audrey come up with for my post, but I’m going to trust they have my best interest at heart and won’t embarrass me too much, even though I probably deserve it. I hope all of the seniors know how much thought I put into making these posts and see them as a reflection of my love for them. During the year I realized I tend to come off as intense and sometimes a little too harsh because of how focused and driven I am by the final product. I can get too caught up in the little details and forget to see the big picture: that through our late nights and stories and conversations, even on the most mundane of days, we are creating a family. These people, all of them, are going to change the world in ways I can’t even imagine yet. One day I’m going to look back and say, “Hey, I was on staff with them,” and that’s going to be the day when I remember everything we went through together.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
There are not enough words for me to aptly express what an honor being co-Editor-In-Chief of “The Rock” and “Bearing News” this past year has been. I have grown so much as a writer, editor, leader and human being. I know I am a stronger and better person because of this experience, and I owe that growth to the people who have stood alongside me all year. For all of the underclassmen and rising leaders, I hope I have set a positive example of how to be a strong leader and a good human being. I can’t wait to see how all of you grow in the years to come because I’m certain you will become absolutely spectacular people, even more so than you already are. For all of my fellow seniors, I am so proud to call you friends and to be able to move alongside you into this next stage of our lives. You are all such strong, passionate, dedicated, hard-working, funny, kind-hearted, inspiring individuals, and I am so immensely thankful that you allowed me to share the moments that were happy, sad and everything in between with you this past year. I love you all so much.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt