The End of Four Years


Neely Burns, Editor-in-Chief

The fact that my four years in Journalism are drawing to a close is absolutely surreal. It has been such an influential part of my high school experience, and it is something that I would not trade for the world. It is for this reason that I will explain how I got into journalism, the effect it has had on me, and, essentially, what I wish someone had told me my freshman year.

I first gained an interest in journalism in middle school, when I was thrown in the class by a random scheduling issue. However, it is this mistake that led to discovering the interest I have in newspaper, and I eventually signed up for it my freshman year to continue this passion.

Freshman year was extremely rough for me. I felt completely overwhelmed by my schoolwork and other responsibilities, and it made it fairly miserable to be at school. Although the class itself is not difficult, I still considered dropping out of journalism the same way I recently had dropped a great deal of other activities I had once enjoyed for the sake of trying to feel more in control. Once I made up my mind to stay, I would sit quietly working on my articles, and was able to do homework once they were completed. It was a welcome break from the constant stream of assignments in every other class, but I was still missing one thing: something which truly brought me joy. That is, until a seating change occurred.

Previously, I sat in a row with one of the head editors, and two fellow freshmen I didn’t know well. However, when one of the editors moved seats and one of the freshmen had to leave the class, it left me in a row with my future partner in crime: Megan. Megan is one of those people where you can’t quite recall how you became friends, it just happened. We quickly became very close, constantly laughing amongst ourselves and eventually the other freshmen. We carried this close friendship through the years, still sitting in the same row of seats we chose our freshman year. I truly feel as though, whatever may happen in the future, Megan will always be there, even as others come and go. She is one of the funniest and most chaotic but secretly caring people I have the pleasure of being friends with. My friendship with Megan is by far one of the best effects of my joining journalism.

I would be remiss to not mention the other members of my class who have stayed with me in journalism for four years, namely Hannah and Ellie. I didn’t know either of them well prior to journalism, but now I feel as though they are some of my best friends. Much like with Megan, these two went from virtual strangers in my mind to some of the most kind, humorous people I know. This is not to say that I have not become close with other members of my class through journalism, but through us being in the class together for four years, I feel especially close to them.

I also eventually became friends with some of the editors as an underclassman, especially the editor-in-chief at the time, Kevin. He always maintained a balance between interacting between myself and the other students in the class and writing excellent articles. I think I speak for all of the other people in my class when I say that we were exceedingly grateful both for his friendship and his leadership. After Kevin and the other editors’ departures, I was nominated as editor-in-chief, and Kevin’s influence is certainly something I have tried to emulate during my time in the position.

All in all, while participating in journalism is naturally something that has improved my writing and reporting skills, it has also truly helped me to develop relationships I intend to carry on for a lifetime. Participating in journalism is one of the few decisions in high school that I have never regretted for an instant since making up my mind about it. Joining the class taught me the rewards that can come from taking a risk with something I enjoy.

And so, I offer anyone reading this the same advice: do not be afraid to pursue something you are passionate about, as it may just offer you benefits you hadn’t even planned on.