Senior column: A home away from home

The past four years of my life have been a wild ride. 

My high school experience was the complete opposite of what I expected. From starting therapy to joining the school newspaper, my life hasn’t turned out exactly how I planned.

The majority of my high school life was consumed by mental health issues. I suppressed my emotions for three years and went to school every day with a smile on my face. My smile was a disguise, covering the scars and pains I was dealing with internally. My ninth and tenth grade years were the most difficult for me as I was filled with anxiety, my grades were horrible and I was barely hanging on. 

Although everyone told me that senior year was supposed to be the most important year because of college applications, I had no idea that it also would be the most life-changing for me. Starting therapy at the beginning of senior year was a long process as all the pain from my past flooded back as if I were reliving those moments. Due to my busy schedule with therapy and focusing on my mental health, application deadlines for colleges started to slip past me. As the work piled up, I started to feel stuck again and was having a hard time moving forward. After some time, my life changed for the better, and I felt the peace and happiness I had been longing for. I continued with therapy, slowly opened up to others and just took one day at a time.

There were a lot of negative things in my life throughout high school, but one important thing kept me going: “The Hawk Eye.” Throughout high school, my school’s newspaper, “The Hawk Eye,” became an outlet for me. From the moment I walked into room 1315, I felt happy and comforted. I felt like I’d found my home away from home, and nothing else mattered. The friendly staff, interesting stories and the welcoming environment distracted me from my worries. “The Hawk Eye” became a light in my life.

Writing was what I detested most when I was younger, but now I can’t imagine my life without it. My middle school self would have never imagined writing for the school newspaper. However, I branched out and did something different in high school, and I found a connection through many and a sense of belonging. Room 1315 may have been the journalism room to everyone, but to me, it became a home.