Seniors Say Goodbye
May 24, 2017
I’d like to give some shout-outs to Mr. Helgeson and Mr. Mancoff for being fantastic sponsors, and to my sister Kadet for getting me into Clarion. Also an extra big thanks to my dog Agnes just ‘cause. But to give some thanks to all the editors and everyone who reads the Clarion, here is a fantastic Clarion Comic!
I did it! My parents were wrong about me! I did complete high school, and though I am thoroughly terrified of what lies ahead, I am also excited. I am excited to try new things, meet new people, become a Seattle fish merchant and retire in Ft. Lauderdale when I turn 65. I remember when I was a freshmen, wore glasses, combed my hair flat and had a horrid ear odor. I was still the same person, but sometimes a makeover and Axe spray can improve your life immensely. That was always me: try to improve, be better, stand out, be humble, learn from other people and make sure I took showers instead baths.
This was my first year of Clarion and after all the late nights staying up writing articles, meeting deadlines, working on the hardcopy with my peers and having all that fun, I must say, it was horrible. Absolutely terrible. There was this guy named Nick (he was this hairy looking thing) who was sooo unproductive. There was also this girl who would keep screaming at me to write anything; let’s call her Michael. And that Galen–that sweet, sweet Galen who couldn’t harm a fly– was the smartest one. I learned so much and I am sad that I did not join Clarion sooner. I just started to extremely appreciate the value of being a journalist.I plan to keep pursuing school newspapers in my college years and if I could earn a minor in journalism I will deeply consider doing so. If I could be the next man to walk on the Moon, I will also consider that as well. I had fun with the people around me, and though we did not find any crazy story that received national attention, I thought we produced some fine articles.
Buddha once said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment,” which probably means something really deep. Just because I am leaving doesn’t mean that I will be gone forever. I will not go quietly into the night! I will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
After it just started to seem like there was no end to it, my four years of high school are over. After three years, two sponsors, a vast array of staff members I now call friends, and dozens of stories, my Clarion career is also over. And while I’m sad to see it go, I couldn’t be happier for the experience. I could never forget the countless memories I’ve made if I wanted to, because for me Clarion was so much more than a class.
If you told me that I would’ve enjoyed staying at school until nine at night to work on the latest hard copy, I probably would’ve ran the opposite direction long before I could come up with a witty remark to express how awful that sounds. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. Every time we ended up staying after ended up being some of the best memories of my high school experience. Laughing and having a great time led to working towards a goal we were all passionate about and proud of, and vice versa.
Everyday, I looked forward to starting the day with Clarion, and when it moved to the end of the day I had a great way to end the day. That wouldn’t be true without the staff. I have made lasting friends through Clarion, because we all get to be ourselves. We get to write about the things we want, and follow stories that genuinely interest us. This allows us to talk to one another, not as students in classrooms, but as friends and as journalists.
And of course, there’s the sponsors. I want to thank Mr. Mancoff for believing in me and giving me an editorial position in the first place. It meant a lot to be trusted with that responsibility. I also want to thank Mr. Helegeson. He came in with an agenda, and a drive to improve the paper. He pushes all of us every day to become better writers, journalists, and overall people. Having similar music tastes doesn’t hurt either.
The class runs on passion and self-expression, and in turn Clarion has become a major factor in the immense growth I’ve noticed in myself these past four years. I will always be grateful for my time on staff, and have learned so much that I will always take with me. I only have two pieces of advice for anyone about to start high school. The first is what you’ve heard millions of times, and will hear a million more: just be yourself. That’s all. It may be a scary prospect, but you will find it’s worth it as you grow. The second is, of course, to join Clarion. (Shameless plug, sorry readers.)
High school is beautiful chaos, where hopes and dreams collide with harsh realities. As freshmen we aspire to be astronauts, senators, or in my case, the ‘Iron Chef’ of America. Our individual paths change again and again. Everything happens in a blur and before we know it, we reach the end. It’s an eternity in a second.
Freshman year, I was so eager to be liked and accepted that I became a cheerleader. It took about a month for me to realize that it wasn’t for me, but for the person I wanted to be. I pushed that thought aside and cheered for a whole year because the will to be my ideal self was much stronger than anything else. Self-actualization didn’t begin to form until the end of my junior year and I still have not completely made it there. But I am proud of the growth and character development I have made over these past four years. I am president of The Association of Students for Tolerance (this club is way more my groove) and have been a strong activist in quite a few protests, some even in our very own Riverside Brookfield High School.
Here on my last day of senior year, I am exhausted and ready for high school to be over. I feel like I have spent more hours here than in my own home. At the same time, I honestly have no idea where the time went. I can’t even remember sophomore year, if I’m being honest. It’s like going through a really dark tunnel, speeding up and slowing down so often that you don’t realize you reached the end and never even got a second to catch your breath.
My time at RB was filled with good friends, great salad, and amazing teachers. Mrs. Cassens, Ms. Cunningham, Ms. Musil, and Mr. Fields, just to name name a few, were not only my educators, but my mentors and life coaches. Ms. Musil and Ms. Cunningham are like my cool aunts that travel all over the world and bring back cool trinkets for everyone and always know the 411. Mama Cassens and Papa John are my actual parents and raised me to be the strong and confident woman I am today. All my character development would not have been possible without them, which is such a blessing because I was a very dumb and obnoxious underclassman. I still am, to am that way, to an extent, but I’m way more chill now. I will never be able to thank all of them enough for everything they have done for me and for teaching me to never be afraid to do what’s right, regardless of the consequences.
I’m still learning and trying to find my path, but I am ready to face any challenge the world can throw at me whether it be an insane amount of college debt or an orange president. Carrie Fisher said it best when she said, “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually confidence will follow.”