In the tradition of every Clarion article I have ever written, I am currently writing this literally minutes before it is due. I am a bit of a perfectionist and a procrastinator, which does not mix well with deadlines. However, I am also just in shock that it’s no longer March and in essence, I have graduated. It’s always hard to say goodbye to things you love but especially now.
In my freshman year, I learned about the heart of journalism: using truth and integrity to speak about the world around you so others can make good, informed decisions. Clarion introduced me to Walter Cronkite, Christiane Amanpour, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Anderson Cooper, and more, who sparked in me a conviction that with hard work, my writing could help people and change the world one day.
My teachers were my editors and Mr. Helgeson, who encouraged my sudden enthusiasm in journalism by editing my work and letting me, a staff reporter, collaborate with them on huge news stories. Their belief that I could do a good job writing made me more confident and excited to work on stories.
Clarion gave me the chance to talk to people at RB and our community that I never would have before and form meaningful relationships with them through my articles. I developed a good relationship with the RB administration and teachers, as well as my fellow students, especially in class.
When I first joined, I assumed Clarion would be a little clique of somewhat nerdy kids based on my limited knowledge of high school from the High School Musical series. I couldn’t be more wrong. I found that Clarion was a melting pot of RB: theater kids, photographers, football players, band kids, cheerleaders, artists, writers, and more. I mean, we’re all still somewhat nerdy, but the point is that we are all a huge, incredible family with so many unique and fascinating talents and interests. We are bonded by our love for RB and our hope that we can make even a small difference in people’s lives by pouring our hearts and souls out on paper. I am really glad that I had the chance to make so many new amazing friends.
In my sophomore year, I applied for an editor position and what a great decision that was. Being an editor was my first lesson in responsibility and leadership, especially how to delegate. It was really difficult for me to step back from my role as staff reporter and take on a new one, helping the staff reach their full potential. As much as I loved publishing my own articles, I loved it even more seeing someone who had struggled with writing finish an excellent piece with my help editing.
In my senior year, I ended up having one last free spot in my schedule and without hesitation, I signed up for Clarion again. This particular class was the most fun I’ve ever had in all of high school. My favorite memories include: our editor group chat, the classic Food Friday and Slate News Quiz, playing alter-egos for our pretend press conferences, pranking Mr. Helgeson about a billion times, making daily coffee with Taylor (despite everyone in our next class always making fun of us for bringing in huge mugs), doing British accents with literally everyone, hanging out with my little brother at hard copy, dancing with all the editors at Homecoming, making up silly nicknames for the editors, screaming at the top of our lungs during late night hard copy sessions as we neared our print deadline, having our sweet Christmas secret santa, and more. And, of course, the actual newspaper, too. There is no greater feeling than seeing your hard work printed for all the school to see and enjoy.
With all the countless amazing times, there were also hard times for me in Clarion. There were issues I felt so strongly about in school that I was compelled to student activism, forcing me to choose if I wanted to be the writer or the thing people wrote about. My newfound confidence and ambition, learned in Clarion, allowed me to listen to my heart and not care about the rest, so I chose the latter. I applied on a whim to a full study abroad scholarship and by some stroke of lightning, I actually got in. I spent the craziest year of my life in Thailand and I am forever changed by that. I’m now going to study International Relations: Politics and History at Jacobs University Bremen, all the way in Germany! So I didn’t end up choosing journalism but who knows what the future will hold. I think I’ll always find my way back to writing.
So now I guess I have to say goodbye. 🙁
To the amazing Clarion staff, you guys are seriously the best. Your dedication and passion for Clarion inspire me so much. The way you pulled off our first ever ONLINE HARD COPY (!!) was incredible!! Keep up the great work!
To the underclassmen editors, you make me so proud. I have so much faith in you and I know you’re going to do a great job running Clarion these next few years. Have sooo much fun!!
To the senior editors, ahh I cannot believe I get to be friends with you guys. I am so excited to see all the amazing things you do in the world. This may be goodbye to Clarion but there’s no way it’s goodbye to each other.
To Mr. Helgeson, thank you for everything. You are the best sponsor Clarion could ever ask for. I really, really appreciate all you’ve helped me and taught me over the years. Thank you for creating this incredible space for us students to express ourselves and also have tons of fun while doing it.
Truly, this is more than just a school newspaper. Clarion captures the spirit of RB and the best of it by shining a light on our students. It was also my life for the last four years and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Ok byeee!