“Discomfort is the most beneficial thing you can go through, especially if you can learn to find the good that lies within it.”

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Newspaper has probably been one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my high school career. Now let me elaborate. Newspaper has also been, without a doubt, one of the most special and enjoyable parts of my time at BV, but ever since the start, this class has pushed my limits in one way or another. 

As I look back on these past three years as a staff member and all the learning moments along the way, I’m happy to say I can laugh at myself and appreciate how far I’ve come, even if I didn’t feel that way at the time. Among the handful of “learning moments” that stand out to me as I reminisce, here are just a few. 

My first year on staff took place in the midst of Covid. This meant that most of my introduction to the class took place over Zoom, making the struggle of grasping journalism lingo that much harder. If you’ve ever heard us refer to the “DT” and were confused about what it was, rest assured that I don’t actually know what it stands for either. 

With each passing issue, I assumed I would feel more comfortable — which I did to some extent, but prospering in this class always seemed like a concept out of reach for me, and I questioned how I would ever be able to accomplish the levels of success that I observed from those around me. That’s why it came as such a shock when I was asked to be design editor for the following year. 

Prior to stepping into this role, I was asked to design my first DT as a staff writer. I still remember that week of preparation so vividly — so many hours of staring at that six-page spread without a clue of how I was supposed to go about it, leading me to my first bit of advice: It’s not failure unless you give up.

Mess ups and struggles are a part of the process, but trying and failing is better than not trying at all. That first DT was nowhere near perfect, but looking back, I can appreciate the work that my perfectionist self criticized all too much. 

On the topic of perfectionism, my junior year was heavy on “faking it till you make it.” As design editor, I was now responsible for creating the DT of every issue, a task that felt heavy as I weighed the legacy I felt obliged to live up to. My favorite memory, however, from this role was the Friday we were sending to print for the first issue of the year. I remember feeling decently content with the DT I created until former editor-in-chief, Charlie Trent, asked me how the cover was coming along during our 1st hour editor’s block. Panic is all I can say. I was so worried about the DT that I forgot the cover was a part of my role, too. Of course I still responded with, “Great, just finishing up some final touches,” although I hadn’t even started. 

And sure enough, I got it done before 5th hour that day, but that leads me to my next point: We’re all just figuring it out. 

You don’t know what you don’t know, but I promise that whatever it is, you’ll get there eventually. Unlike my sophomore year, I really did find myself gaining my footing as the year went on. With each DT, I found myself believing more and more that this was something I was truly capable of, quickly leading me to my next reminder: Good things take time. 

You don’t reach your goals overnight, so don’t get discouraged. Hard work is always rewarded, even if that reward is simply your own self-growth. 

My senior year as co-editor in chief has by far been my favorite, and I think it’s because I finally learned my favorite lesson: No matter how much you achieve, you’ll never feel satisfied until you learn to celebrate the victories along the way. 

It can be as simple as getting your homework done on time, speaking up in a class you don’t usually feel comfortable in, or in my case, showing up to editor’s hour on time (sorry Huss). 

I always thought I would find my happiness in making the perfect college decision, but the truth is, the bulk of my enjoyment from senior year, and newspaper in particular, has come from bonding with the staff members, photosynthesizing at the bay window because it’s always freezing in Room 518, ranting to Mrs. Huss and the rest of editor’s hour about every minor inconvenience in my life and sharing the struggle of senioritis and our “favorite” class with my wonderful co editor-in-chief Charley.

Newspaper has been my favorite uncomfortable experience because as I look back, my mind seems to highlight all the ways I’ve grown and all the people who have fostered that growth along the way. So thank you to all the one-of-a-kind friends I’ve gained through this class, to the previous editors who believed in me and the current editors who trust me with their guidance and of course, Mrs. Huss who has supported me through everything and I can’t imagine not seeing next year. 

After writing this, I’ve realized that Newspaper wasn’t actually an uncomfortable experience, but it did make me uncomfortable in the best way possible. 

I’ve learned over these past three years that discomfort is the most beneficial thing you can go through, especially if you can learn to find the good that lies within it. So embrace the discomfort — you might just find that you’ll enjoy it.