When I think back on high school, I start laughing before anything constructive comes to mind. That is one thing I will remember most: how fun-loving my class was, but not in the most traditional ways. We weren't really the most athletic or smartest, but we were good people.
Some of my classmates may not realize what we have all accomplished or how we have grown in four years. That is my favorite thing about yearbook: watching kids grow. We spend hours looking for the perfect photos and writing stories, and it begins to feel as if we are reliving the memories over and over. Yearbook was a perfect way to showcase our class because it features unique talents and people and wanted to share them with the world. Staff members and advisers all over the United States have seen your beautiful faces because yearbooks are traded back and forth, from convention to convention, publisher to publisher etc..
I had two goals for my high school yearbook career: create a book I would forever be proud of and qualify for IHSA Journalism State Finals all four years. The latter was taken away due to unforeseen circumstances, and my heart shattered into a million pieces. This hurt more than I had ever expected because yearbook people are my people. Journalism created an environment where anyone is comfortable and can be themselves. I experienced my last moments with them without even knowing it. Still devastated, I reflect on all I had accomplished. I am most proud of the theme for this year's book. As the editorial staff looked through templates, we were not in love with any of the available options, so I grabbed a marker and started drawing a cover design. The most enjoyable aspect has been watching my drawing come to life. It will be a memory I hold forever and show my children one day.
Yearbook has provided me a new family and experiences that I will cherish forever. Summers spent with Tricia and Daniel watching "The Lion King," trying to mask our laughs, so Mrs. Donovan wouldn't get mad, are just a few of the memories I wouldn't trade for the world. Our lax style and fabulous procrastination probably gave "Momovan" more grey hairs than she would care to admit, and we probably taught Aiden a few questionable pranks, but that was who we were, and we were REALLY good at avoiding work.
I'm not sure how I even walked into the yearbook room in junior high, but I am sure glad I did, as it became my second home for the next six years. I honestly think I was trying to get out of my noisy homeroom and heard there was a new member meeting, so I went for it. Best decision of my life. My heart is heavy realizing I will never have another pizza party, DQ run, or long day pushing deadlines with some of my closest friends. Nothing will ever top the floor M&M's or Cole Sprouse frame, no matter how hard Mrs. Donovan tries to forget. Thank you to OHS, my fellow staff members, and most importantly, Mrs. Donovan for affording me this opportunity and your love and support throughout the years.
This wasn't exactly how I planned to wrap up my yearbook career, but it sums up how interesting journalism and life can be. Thank you, yearbook, for celebrating my creative side and pushing me to step outside my comfort zone.