An Unexpected Position: Co-Editor-in-Chief

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An Unexpected Position: Co-Editor-in-Chief

Braedon Harris, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Leaving middle school, I had no idea that newspaper would play a major role in my high school experience. Freshman year I was placed in an introductory journalism course, and didn’t think much of it. I was in plenty of other extracurricular activities, and the elective class didn’t seem to interest me that much. However, at the end of the year I was asked by Mrs. Smallwood to be a reporter on the newspaper staff, I and reluctantly agreed.

 

Despite being hesitant to join, I figured that nothing bad would come out of it. Coming in my sophomore year, I didn’t know what to expect. Although I’d been exposed to the basics, I didn’t know what the newspaper class would consist of or how much I’d be doing. I soon realized that being on staff would push me out of my comfort zone. It became clear I wouldn’t be able to sit around in class and write the stories I thought interested me. Now, I was responsible for going out and interviewing people. I had to go out and gather all of the information I needed to write a story. While I wasn’t particularly scared of doing this, it made me pretty uncomfortable. I’d never had to go out and interview people for anything, let alone conduct quality interviews that would give me the quotes I needed to write a proper story. My sophomore year was a time of growth. Not only did I gain new skills, but I learned to deal with being pushed beyond what I was accustomed to.

 

At the end of my sophomore year, both editors were going off to the University of Texas. For them, this meant leaving high school and moving down to Austin. For me and another student on staff, it meant moving up to editor-in-chief.  For all of us, this meant moving on to a new stage in life, being exposed to something we hadn’t been exposed to before. For me, being an editor was the first major leadership role I experienced in high school. Although I had been placed in leadership positions in other classes, events and extracurriculars, I hadn’t been officially placed in charge of a group for an extended period of time.

 

As my junior year continued, I learned more and more about what it meant to be a leader. Things were changing not only in newspaper, but in all of my other classes too. I began to relate to others more, which allowed me to tackle problems better both in and out of school. Understanding that each person has their own strengths and weaknesses and approaches problems differently allowed me to relate to others better in team settings. More importantly, I finally began to realize the importance of learning. Learning doesn’t only take place in a classroom setting under the instruction of teachers and educators, although many believe that this is the case. It can just as easily occur through classmates and friends and involve much more than science and mathematics. In today’s dynamic social climate, it is more important than ever to actively engage with others and learn from their experiences and mindsets. Knowing the power that learning holds, I hope to spread its importance to those who come from similar backgrounds, as I continue to grow.

 

Through my time in high school and on the newspaper staff, I’ve been able to grow beyond academic success. I’ve developed as a person and a leader and am more capable of reaching a future that interests me. The unexpected path I chose left a positive impact on my life that will continue to drive me to pursue my goals. I can truly say that the knowledge and skills I’ve gained over my last two years as editor have opened my eyes and allowed me to leave high school knowing that I can face any challenge that stands in my way.

 

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