Initially, the novelty of high school caught me by surprise. Always a diligent and disciplined student, I had underestimated the weight of the workload high school would impose on me and overestimated my ability to undertake that hefty load. Just as I found myself on the brink of social isolation, on the precipice of personal implosion, where I felt that I would need to abandon myself, my interests, my passions in order to pursue my most accomplished academic self, I walked into The Blue and Gold, the wrong classroom for my schedule. Never before and not once since have I made such a fortunate mistake.
A few months later, my English teacher introduced me to the publication’s advisor, Ryan Gallagher, and, my sophomore year, I joined his staff. Never before and not once since have I made such a pivotal decision.
In room J387, I became a prolific writer. Then, I became a proactive leader. In that environment, I acquired practical skills, proficiency with Photoshop and InDesign, photography, and videography, but more importantly I learned to articulately express myself, to absorb the color of the world and convey it in print.
In room J387, I felt the sense of fulfillment I had always imagined saying the words I had grown up hearing would give me: “Thank you for listening to WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station and worldwide.”
I have my parents to thank for every car ride that morphed into an impromptu spelling bee, for every summer I spent hunched over novels, devouring texts they incentivized me to read, for the nights spent, red pen in hand, reading, rereading and correcting my papers, even my third grade book reports, especially my third grade book reports, rife with grammatical errors and syntactic flaws.
But I have The Blue and Gold to thank for making the responsibility of honing my writing and journalistic skills my own. As idyllic as it may sound, the hierarchy of leadership within the class demonstrated that simply being present would not suffice, that hard work and accountability are the keys to progress and, ultimately, to success. The communal aspect of the class, the teamwork that greased the wheels of the operation making it possible to meet deadlines and publish content, allowed me to reconcile my passions and academic success. Independence and determination may be critical ingredients to personal triumph, but socialization is the binder that dictates the longevity of your success. Blue and Gold has taught me to be less self-reliant, to ask for help when I need it, and to help others along the way. Teamwork does make the dream work.
One final cliche: a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. For the graduating editorial staff, the journey ends here, but it began with one simple step into the right room.