Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thank you and good night

As I sat down this weekend to write my blog post and meet the deadline, I realized I was not ready. I really needed to time soak in and process what the last three years in C103 have meant to me. While I definitely am ready to move on from high school and experience the opportunities at Ohio State, my time in The Chronicle will probably be what I miss most.

Let me break down my journey in order to fully appreciate my growth and simultaneously sprinkle in some advice to new, current, and future staff members (Look for the italics)

Freshman Year: Fate

I was an avid supporter of The Chronicle. I enjoyed reading it when it was distributed and always kept a copy. I was still dipping my toes into high school's murky water, so I figured I would wait to apply until my sophomore or junior year. Luckily, my passion for writing led me to take Creative Writing and fate put me in the classroom of Kurt Dinan. Mr. Dinan saw something in me that I had not seen myself, but I am truly grateful he did. He connected me with Mr. Conner and I filled out my application (turned in after deadline I believe). I still vividly remember sitting on the bench in C1 talking to Mr. Conner for the first time about how big of a commitment The Chronicle was and what being on staff meant. I interviewed with Sheila Raghavendran and Erin Brush in the old Chronicle room, C106 and was ecstatic when I found out I was accepted. You have been put in this position for a reason. Do not question your self worth because someone has seen something great inside of you.

Sophomore Year: The Newbie

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My first week on staff, I vividly remember hating it. I disliked and did not understand the story idea discussions. I questioned if it was the right path for me. Thank God I stuck with it. Remember it is okay to not immediately fall in love or find your place on The Chronicle. I remember struggling so hard to find my first story idea, and eventually I landed on GoPro Cameras--a valiant first effort for a story. There were so many firsts: seeing my name in print, my first Chron Fire, my first Chron Canoe trip. I remember being scared of the seniors (Erin Brush and Stich) and thinking they were so much older and cooler than me. I remember dreading bringing in breakfast every edition as the newbies are designated. As a senior now I realize that my fears were unneccessary, being a senior does not automatically put you above others like I had imagined. I began to slowly make a name for myself as somebody who is reliable and does what they are supposed. Another milestone was the creation of my first PowerPoint. The theme was celebrity look-alikes. Don't be afraid to take a risk as a new member. It can seriously pay off. This quickly became a trend, and every distribution day I made a PowerPoint to celebrate our hard work and to share some laughs. It is so important to have fun as a staff.

Junior Year: Getting it Done

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With a year under my belt, new friends, and new knowledge, I was ready to take on my second year on staff. I began with a bang by having my first cover story ever on "Meninism" versus feminism. The Chronding this year was great and I remember ice skating, going to Salsa on the Square, and movie nights. I also began to establish myself as the resident party and event planner! Step up and take charge, things need to get done. This was a stressful year with classes and extracurriculars, but I am proud of myself for staying true and continuing to make deadlines.

Senior Year: The End

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Suddenly, I was the big man on campus. It was my name going on the College Commitment Board, I was not planning Signing Day, but participating, and I was receiving a senior gift at the end of the year. One goal I had at the beginning of the year was to get our Instagram rebooted. We only had around 200 followers, around 20 likes (or less) per picture, and inconsistent posting. This was not okay, given what a presence our accounts held on Twitter and Facebook. I remember at first trying to come up with a gimmick to gain followers by offering to pie teachers in the face if we reached a certain goal. Mr. Conner quickly shut this down and said the key was to post engaging and entertaining content. To be honest, I was frustrated and did not think it was possible at first. But after brainstorming some fun ideas, our account began to take off. We now have almost 1,000 followers and get at least 100 (260 was our highest) likes per picture. Mr. Conner was right, and I am grateful for trusting him. Don't let me down with the Instagram! Please keep posting regularly and if you choose, keep up the features like #ChronCoupleOfTheWeek and #ChronicleTravels. Do a better job than me of getting #ChronFanOfTheGame because I never go to sports games lol. I had other celebrations this year, one being having multiple stories in the paper for the first time. I won a silver medal in the national Scholastic Art & Writing Competition for my story on evolving gender roles. The one regret I had about the year was the lack of Chronding. I tried to plan stuff throughout the year, but there was never a strong enthusiasm, I wish I would have tried harder because I think it truly helps the staff to work better when there is a connection. Keep Chronding!! Keep up the traditions as well, like ChronFire and Canoeing. Overall though, I loved to be a leader and a mentor at times. I made some great new friends this year and became even closer with the other seniors.

Today was a fantastic conclusion to my time on staff. I spent two bells finishing my final PowerPoint ever. We got to class and I presented it and got some laughs. We surprised Mr. Conner by showing our spoof of The Office where we made fun of ourselves. Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself. You are not perfect and that is OKAY. We gave DC a poster of senior pictures he can put in the backroom. Mr. Conner won the day by making the seniors feel so special. He told us each a quote from the book David and Goliath that embodied us and gave us all a copy of the book. I will never forget the special things he said about us and we are all very grateful.

Just remember, this class and life in general is what you make it. You can take advantage of the opportunities and have fun and laugh and smile, or have a negative mindset. Try your best to enjoy it.

As I have sat here spending the last hour and a half typing this blog post, I am finally ready to say it.

Goodbye C103