I Can’t Believe It’s Over, But I’m So Grateful It Happened

I Cant Believe Its Over, But Im So Grateful It Happened

Kenna Standridge , Yearbook Editor-In-Chief

I’ve never written for Newspaper before. When I was a little freshman being interviewed by “the big juniors” of the media program, they asked me whether I’d prefer to write for yearbook or newspaper. Since I’m indecisive, I told them I didn’t really care, so long as I could write. But they made me choose, so I said yearbook. There was a whole line of thinking behind it, but that isn’t relevant to this. Long story short, it was perfect, and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else… However, I have always wanted to write SOMETHING for the newspaper. So thank you, Isabella, my dear friend, and the lovely Editor-In-Chief of The Roar, for letting me write this before I go.

I can clearly remember my first year on staff. Hannah Potter was the EIC of the yearbook, and I swore she walked on golden light. I think she was one of the first people I knew personally as a peer that I looked up to. She encouraged me, taught me, and- best of all gave me free rein of my forte: writing. If I wrote an 800-word story, she would alter her design to make it all fit. If I simply couldn’t come up with anything more, she would willingly accept my 100-word blurb as all there was to know, and piece it into her page as if she’d asked for that in the first place. It was around December of 2018 that I realized just how impactful she was, and I thought to myself for the first time, “I’m going to be the EIC someday.”

Then there was Gunnar & Liz. It’s physically taxing to think of a more dynamic duo, and I adored them both. Liz was the visionary behind last year’s book, and Gunnar would do everything in his power to make it happen. She was light and airy, he was sarcastic and stern. But both of them are some of the kindest people I’ve ever known, and they let my Copy Editor self do so much more than I was technically supposed to. This was also the year I went on the sleep-away trip to San Antonio with media, and that was where I met- like REALLY met- some of the photographers, whom I now call wonderful friends. Of course, I knew who they were and all that (they were in my class, for crying out loud!), but there’s something about being in a tiny Suburban for 6+ hours and staying crammed four to a room in a boujee hotel that makes you more than just acquaintances.

Before I reminisce anymore, let me pause here for some *seniorly wisdom*: If you’re planning on joining media (which you should), or if your everyday life takes you to a job/place where you’re in an organization with multiple staffs, and it takes extra work to get to know people outside your department, IT IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO PUT FORTH THE EFFORT AND MAKE FRIENDS WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE. Kami, Bradlee, Griffin, and Hope are just a few of the photographers I got closer with on that trip, and I can’t tell you how sweet it has been to KNOW them and know their hearts and the passion they have for photography. A secondary bonus has been that it makes it easier to work with them in tandem- communication between friends is so much better than communication between coworkers who only speak when necessary. I re-met Ellie and Beau at the Rainforest Cafe when Sarah Haylow and I crashed their dinner plans with the quiet and scary-on-the-surface-but-actually-the-sweetest-person-ever Brandon. The memories I have with the other staffs are so beautiful and special to me because of the extra work required. It is 18478790/10 worth it to step out of your comfort zone.

Back to my life story…

Then COVID-19 hit. As insignificant (and second-nature to me now) as it is, my biggest concern last March was having to learn how to write about it journalistically. “COVID-19” and “the coronavirus (optional ‘pandemic’)” are the only acceptable terms on first reference, then “the pandemic” is good for second reference. Then I realized we were going to be in this for the long haul, and I (along with Gunnar, Liz, and Austin, who shall get his own paragraph soon) worked with Mrs. Kidder to finish the entire yearbook from our separate houses. We Zoomed, used Google Meet, and had a group chat, and the whole ordeal was crazy-busy. But we did it, and the absolute joy that came with receiving the physical book in June made everything SO worth it.

This year it’s me & Austin. If I could thank one person in the whole world, I think it would be him. Every single day he did something to make my life easier, and I never could quite feel like I properly returned the favor… yet he keeps doing it. He makes me these things called vector images, he took over extra spreads, and he let me have a pink-ish color AND a script font in the book. His designs are my favorite pages in the book, and even if he doesn’t believe me, he’s every designer’s role model. He’s the coolest person ever, and his everyday hobbies are things I don’t think I could DREAM of knowing how to do. He always made time for yearbook, and I never once had to wait on him. We stayed up literally all night to finish the book (at least once, but probably more), and it breaks my heart that I haven’t seen him since March 5, 2020. He deserves all the high-fives. Liz Varga was my most precious managing editor, and I think the world would’ve spun off its axis if it wasn’t for her. She kept everything organized behind the scenes, and any problem that arose, she fixed in an instant. I’m so proud of her for jumping into this year with both feet, cannonball-style. She’s a whirlwind of magic, and she keeps everyone on track.

And then there’s Mrs. Kidder. Momma K, I don’t even know how to express how wonderful you’ve been TO me and FOR me. Whenever I need something, you make it happen… or you show me that I don’t really need it at all. You celebrate my victories and sympathize with my losses with me. Once, you even bought me a donut. You (probably flippantly) said you’d love to read my book, and when I brought it to you to actually read, your eyes were so wide with surprise and pride and warm fuzzy emotions. It made my whole entire week better because you looked so impressed. I’m so appreciative of all you’ve poured into my life these past three years, and I truly believe that you and the program you’ve built are going to be one of the things that I miss the most. To everyone else, TAKE MRS. KIDDER’S CLASS!!! Take Principles of AAVTC, take Yearbook, take Photography, take Newspaper, take A/V, take whatever other class you can get your hands on!!! She works so hard and loves us so much! There’s nothing more fulfilling than having her cheering you on as you create something for the student body.

Since I can’t write forever, I think it’s time to wrap it up. But how am I supposed to finish a story that’s still being written? There’s so many things I haven’t said. So many things I haven’t done. I don’t even comprehend it all. Rod, our Jostens rep, is too amazing not to mention. He always brings donuts and tells me how I’m going to do great things. Brendon and Carah are going to be EICs next year, and their journey is going to be SO exciting! They have two halves of the same mind, and watching them work together is a joy. I love this program, I love these people, and I love this life.

I just love everything and everyone so much.

Since I seriously DON’T know how to stop typing, I’m going to ACTUALLY close with some senior advice to anyone and everyone who will grow up and be a senior someday, media kid or not: Be BUSY! Go to the play, try out for the team, introduce yourself to the new kid, make plans for the weekend! Some things won’t work out, but the ones that do make the whole thing worth it. I’m not saying starve yourself of relaxation of any sort, but don’t let chilling at home alone be all you remember from this time. High school is what you make it, and you NEED to make it more than that. Don’t stop trying things, don’t stop giving your all, and don’t EVER fear rejection. Rejection is the fire that purifies the gold! YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL, and some people will see that and some won’t. Accept that and move on. Think carefully, and open up to people. That’s the biggest thing. Be the person that always knows people’s birthdays, and in five years, still texts them “HBD!” That will mean the world to them, and it will show your character. Don’t forget where you came from, lessons you learned, or who you are.

Good luck, Charlie.