Hey everyone, and welcome back to this edition of “What’s the Haps?”! For my final blog post of the year, I’ll be sharing a few final thoughts in hopes of imparting some wisdom on you all.
With this being the month before my high school graduation, I’ve been bogged down by a number of “lasts” lately: last prom, last time in the student section at a basketball game, last birthday at home, and the list goes on and on. With all the emphasis on “lasts,” I’ve also tried to reflect on some of my “firsts” as well, thinking about how much I’ve changed and grown as an individual in the past four years.
My school’s journalism program has had an extensive role in transforming me into the person I am today. In the past few months, I’ve realized how different I would be if my current journalism teacher had not tracked me down at the end of my freshman year and convinced me to join the class (somewhat against my will — thanks Mr. Harrison).
When I first joined the class my sophomore year, I was terrified to share my opinions with the outside world. I remember writing my first opinion piece for the newspaper, in which I advocated for a reasonable path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. As I read it over again just now, admittedly, I cringed a little at how rough my writing was back then. But that’s not really the point. This opinion story was monumental for me because it gave me both the courage and the platform to share my beliefs not only with my close family and friends, but also with a wide audience of readers.
Before high school, I was in a restrictive school environment, surrounded by people who primarily shared all of the same political beliefs — most of which were different from mine. I felt alienated, so I resorted to simply not sharing my opinions on any current political topics. When I joined the Golden Fleece staff, however, I was finally granted the platform I needed to find my voice my beliefs.
Now, moving onto my advice I want to give you all. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to voice your opinion in, say, the editorial column of your school newspaper, I encourage you to find another way to share what you are passionate about. To my fellow Gen Z’ers in particular, as much as baby boomers and our parents love to pester us about it, social media really does come in handy here. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter can be just as, if not more, effective in sharing one’s opinion than a newspaper article. Don’t be afraid to share your beliefs; you might make a difference in someone else’s life just by sharing your own opinion on a subject.
And with that, I’m out. Thanks for reading! And maybe catch me on CNN in a few years?
In all seriousness, though, thanks for supporting the Golden Fleece by reading this on our website right now. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for everything this journalism program has provided me with. And finally, here are some pictures from my favorite memories in this class.