How an elective I didn’t want ended up making my high school experience

Liana Dong

Staff Writer

     I really did not want to be in Journalism. So much so that by the first week of junior year, I had tried to transfer out three separate times. If I had succeeded, I could have developed other passions, met other people, had other great experiences, but I would have missed out on what turned out to be the best misjudgement I’ve ever made.

     Last year, Journalism 1 had seven people. I know… I know. “Wow, those poor staffers must have been so overworked” is exactly what you’re thinking. We were very much not overworked, but the size of our group made it easy for us to get close. When I tripped through my first few interviews and scrambled to piece my articles together during class, there would always be someone I could talk to who was doing the same. I quickly grew to love my team (including Mr. Savoie!), with six of us moving into the next year as editors.

     This year, Journalism 1 has 26 people. I know… I know. “Wow, how did your class more than triple in size, which is a really great development that only gets a little more complicated with distance learning? And they must have been so underworked!” They were very much not underworked, but it was difficult to adjust to accommodating such a large staff, especially in a new online setting. Becca, my co-EIC and the better half of us, deserves all the credit for her constant ingenuity and patience, but we couldn’t resolve new issues that came up with just our ideas. Group discussions with all of us after class became the norm, even if they weren’t always about the newspaper. Whenever I went off on a tangent, I would always be listened to. Alternatively, a co-host would forcibly mute me, but usually because I deserved it. Over our months of editorship, they’ve helped me grade, grow, and hold myself accountable while taking on new projects and shaping the paper in their own individual ways.

      It is almost June, which means Mr. Savoie is revving up for yearbook distribution, which means that Journalism kids are legally obligated to come help out. Seeing my friends that I’d gotten so used to seeing over a screen made me so happy. Only a few of us were there, but it really felt like together is how it’s supposed to be. When we were in-person, I looked forward to fifth period the whole day. When I had a bout of quarantine social reclusion, my editors were some of the only people I was regularly talking to. As we’re ending the year, I know I’m really going to miss this. 

     As I head into the world, I want to remember to take new opportunities head-on, and not to judge things too early. All the experiences I’ve had that have made me the happiest come from pushing myself out of my comfort zone and connecting with new people. I’m incredibly lucky to have this class that makes leaving so hard. Thank you to my editors (and as always, Mr. Savoie) for being constants for me these past few years. 

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