Senior Column: ‘Looking back, I can’t imagine what my high school experience would’ve been like if I didn’t join newspaper’


Anna Wonderlich, Co-Editor

For me, it was Sonic runs after school, late start Thursday breakfasts and Chipotle dinner dates.
For me, it was Friday night football games, Take Five study sessions and long Metcalf drives.
For me, it was crazy spirit days, intense class competitions and colorful SWITCH dances.
For me, it was newspaper.
While my high school experience is as different as the next person’s, we all shared those experiences during our four years together. Of course the academic aspect of school is very important, but when it comes down to it, it’s the memories you make in high school that matter the most.
Sophomore year, I joined the newspaper staff with my three best friends, not knowing it would be one of the best choices I made all of high school.
Originally, I signed up for it because I liked my freshman journalism class and thought it would be something fun to try.
Now I’m less than a month away from graduating and enrolled in the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas for next fall.
At the time, my little sophomore self had no idea joining the newspaper staff would impact my future as much as it did.
From Wednesday late nights once a month to the Saturday editing days to the countless traditions on staff, newspaper has been more than just my fifth hour class.
Newspaper has brought me closer to amazing people I doubt I would’ve ever been in a class with otherwise.
Newspaper has introduced me to a future career path in marketing, advertising or strategic communications.
And most of all, newspaper has played a major role in some of my favorite memories in high school that I can’t begin to describe in this 649-word column.
And with that, there’s several people I’d like to thank.
I’d especially like to thank my amazing journalism advisers Mrs. Chittum and Ms. Wilmes for originally sparking my interest in journalism and allowing Room 450 to become my second home for the past four years.
I’d like to thank my hard-working staff for coming into class with an enthusiastic mood every day, producing amazing work all year and putting up with my perfectionist ways or stressed attitude when it’s close to deadline.
I’d also like to give a huge thank you to anyone who has ever picked up a copy of “The Tiger Print” because there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing students look at our hard work in print on Paper Day.
Finally, I owe a giant thank you to Hailey McEntee for being my outstanding co-editor this year. She somehow never seemed to be as stressed as I was during each production cycle, and she always was there to reassure me everything would get done. Plus, she never ceased to impress me with the pages she designed for the paper. She’s the only person I know who can get just as excited over a font or typography as I do. I’d like to thank her for being my proofreader, motivator, InDesign go-to girl and all-around best friend.
Looking back, I can’t imagine what my high school experience would’ve been like if I didn’t join the newspaper staff.
So that’s what high school’s all about: trying new things until you find something you like and just going with it.
Pretty soon, we’ll be lined up alphabetically in Kemper Arena, ready to receive our diplomas and shake Mr. Bacon’s hand one final time.
I’m leaving Blue Valley content with how I’ve spent my past four years, and — I’ll admit — I’m even a little sad to go, simply because I’ve had such a positive high school experience.
Just enjoy your teenage years because they have the potential to be some of the most memorable.
For me, it was newspaper.
For you, it could be anything else.
Find out what you’re passionate about, and stick with it.
Find your own “newspaper.”