Honestly, being the Editor-in-Chief of The Blue and Gold newspaper has been such a surreal experience so far.

In 2012, I was fresh out of middle school and new to high school. I felt like a fish out of water.  I was just a freshman who did not know what he was really getting into, but knew that he liked writing and The Blue and Gold was a place to do it.

When I first came into the room, it was so different from any of my other classes. All my other classes had mostly freshman, and if there were any upperclassmen, they were the minority. It was not the case here. Freshmen were definitely outnumbered here with all the sophomores, juniors, and even seniors on the staff. I won’t lie. It was really intimidating at first. I soon realized I wasn’t the only one who felt a bit out of their lane here. So for the majority of that year, the rest of the freshmen in the class and I sat together in one area of the room, even when we were constantly asked by our advisor Ryan Gallagher to “integrate [our]selves and talk to new people.” We didn’t really know each other, but at least we were all freshmen and new to the class as well, so that’s all that mattered.

Having so many sophomores, juniors and seniors in the class, while kind of intimidating, was really interesting. Without their guidance, I don’t even know how I would be able to be the editor-in-chief this year. Being a reporter for the newspaper really allowed to me to open myself up and become able to talk to people with less fear and anxiety. Freshman and sophomore year was truly a time when I realized that my current level of writing wasn’t as great as I thought it was, but that it still had potential, which the upperclassmen helped me to see.

Though, it didn’t prepare me for junior year, when I became co-Head of Sports News alongside Tatyanna Cabral, the current Editor-in-Chief of the online website. Being in charge was a new experience for me and it was a challenge, but I was glad that I had the seniors’ guidance. They helped fill in the gaps of leadership that Tatyanna and I weren’t able to.

Now, I kind of feel like I did freshman year again: a fish out of water. As a freshmen up until the end of my junior year, I really looked up the seniors and appreciated their reassuring and guiding presence. Now, I am the senior that the underclassmen look up to. Instead of me being the inexperienced staff member who didn’t know how to do something, I am the senior who takes care of problems.

Being a freshman really is a scary experience. Even if people are not literally bigger than me, and even if it was only a few years difference, the age and maturity gap was evident. It was a lot to take in, especially in the first couple of days. Though, I am grateful for The Blue and Gold, as it not only taught me how to be a good journalist, but how to not be afraid of the upperclassmen and of the school.

As a senior, I have grown a lot. I am a lot more sure of myself than I was back in freshman year. Over the course of my high school career, a lot has happened, and I failed a lot more times than I would like to admit, but that’s alright, because with every failure, I learned. Before joining The Blue and Gold, I was not much of a team player, but being a part of the staff showed me how important working together is. A newspaper cannot be created by one person, and having been a part of every step of the process, I really came to not only know that, but understand that. Rome was not only not built in a day, but not only by one person as well. Being in The Blue and Gold taught me that.

When senior year first began, I was a bit unsure of myself. Deep down, I know I had all the tools I needed to lead the class, and even if I didn’t, I had my fellow seniors and friends Tatyanna and Felicia Fallano, the current Editor-in-Chief of the print edition. I am not alone. Honestly, that helps. Having them by my side to help me lead over 30 different people of differing backgrounds and talents makes things a lot easier.

With a little over a month under my belt as a senior and as the Editor-in-Chief, the experience has been amazing. As Editor-in-Chief I’ve learned a lot about myself as a leader, and it has taught me about how things exist that are bigger than just myself. Being in charge of everything really puts me in perspective of every little thing that goes on at the paper, more so than ever before, from when a reporter has trouble with an article or doing an interview, to making sure thing get on the website or into the paper correctly.

As the Editor-in-Chief, it is my job, along with Tatyanna’s and Felicia’s to shape The Blue and Gold and mold it into our vision. Our vision for this year is to respect the tradition of our predecessors, to try to really make it our own, and leave a mark, so that, while on the outside, it seems like the regular monthly paper and daily website content, a real personality shines through that only we could have produced.

So, while I am proud to have been a part of the closing of the first century of the paper, last year having been it’s 100th year, now I am even prouder and more excited to be a part of the generation that helps usher in its new century, a century where I hope, The Blue & Gold will continue to improve and expand much more than it even has so far.

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