Senior column: A change in plans


Photo via Kate Knauff

Growing up, I thought my high school hobby was going to be cheerleading. I did competitive cheer when I was in third grade, started tumbling classes in fifth grade and was on the cheer team in eighth grade, so when I made the cheer team freshman year, I was ecstatic. As freshman year football season came to a close though, I had to get knee surgery to resolve some pain I was having, and I had to sit out of practice for a few weeks after. When it came time to try out for the next year’s team, I was fully unprepared after being benched for half the year, yet it still was a surprise when I did not make the team.

Suddenly, I had to figure out what I wanted to do for the next three years of high school so I chose journalism, one of the only “blow-off” classes still open.

Journalism was one of my least favorite classes. The girl who sat across from me didn’t like me for a while, the lessons were somewhat boring and the teacher would drone on about things like the rule of thirds. Despite how much I didn’t like journalism, something in me wanted to continue pursuing it, so I decided to join newspaper because my friend Arisha was in the class. Spoiler alert: that ended up being the best decision of my high school career.

When I joined newspaper, I didn’t enjoy writing too much, and I was pretty introverted. Both of those things have changed throughout my three years with “The Hawk Eye.” I slowly became more extroverted and comfortable talking to strangers through interviewing and my writing improved greatly with the 50+ stories I’ve written.

Newspaper has also given me some of my best friends. That girl in journalism who didn’t like me very much is now my platonic soulmate, and everyone in the newspaper room has become my chosen family. I think leaving them is going to be the hardest part of graduating. I have even met student journalists across the state because of a student journalists’ rights organization I’m a part of called “New Voices.”

I never understood when people would tell me things happen for a reason, because sometimes it feels like nothing good can come from a situation, but I have learned from having to completely scrap and remake my high school plans that things really do happen for a reason. I don’t plan on majoring in journalism in college, but I want to join a newspaper and continue pursuing one of my passions.

Don’t get me wrong, these past few years in newspaper have not been easy. Between stories falling through, trying to meet deadlines and trying to navigate everything else in high school, I have faced some challenges, but because of the amount of good that has come from this class, I would not trade this experience for anything.