Senior Column: Opinion Editor thanks newspaper, people

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Alyssa Clark

A digitally-constructed image by senior Alyssa Clark displays photos from her childhood and senior year. Clark has been on the ENO staff for two years. “A few weeks ago, I told some fellow seniors that I felt like I was leaving our baby behind, but I know ENO is in safe hands,” Clark said. “It’s hard to say goodbye to something that means so much to you, and I can deny leaving as much as I want, but all good things must come to an end.”

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My first real experience writing was in my Journalism I class as a sophomore, where I met our adviser, Lisa Roskens – and she opened up a whole new world to me.

Full of exciting stories and time-crunched UIL prompts, journalism and Eagle Nation Online are the happy parts of my school day. I always look forward to going to photography events after school, showing my loved ones my work and feeling grateful that I’ve been given all of the opportunities that journalism, and this wonderful online newspaper, specifically, have brought me.

The reward and opportunity to publish is a dream I know not every student journalist gets, and this dream is usually overshadowed with prior review from administration for the few that get it. For that, I am so thankful to have a district that supports free speech and ideas, and I appreciate everything they do for our paper, broadcast, yearbook and radio teams.

To my family – or otherwise known as my cheerleaders – thank you for all your support. My endless rants about an opinion piece I’m working on can get annoying, I’m sure, but you raised me to always support my beliefs and speak my truth, and I would’ve never been here without you. I have family members that read our newspaper all the way from home in Ohio, but their support makes them feel closer than ever. Thank you for all your love, comments and your advice.

Getting ready to record an episode of their podcast “Over The Popcorn Bowl,” seniors Gabriella Winans, Amanda Hare, Christi Norris and Alyssa Clark smile. The seniors make up 4/5 of the Editorial Board of the newspaper this year. Senior Julia Chung is the other editorial board member, and leads as the Design Editor. (Alyssa Clark)

Lastly, but certainly not least, I’ve only been in ENO for two years, yet somehow it’s still so hard to say goodbye – especially because of the people. Just in these two years, I’ve met some of the most talented and lovely people you could know, and they’re all so passionate about their own interests that they bring to the table, and that’s what makes being an editor and a staff member so fun: no one is the same, but we all have a shared love for writing and getting the truth for our readers. As some of my fellow seniors are going off into the world to do big things, I wish them all the best, and I have full intentions of staying up to date with all the things these wonderful people will achieve. I’ll never forget all of the memories and lessons I’ve learned from my fellow staff members. 

For our younger staff and next year’s Editorial Board, I’m so proud of everything you do and of the ways you have grown. You’ll always have my number if you ever need advice or edits, but, no matter what, I’ll always be supporting you and reading Eagle Nation Online.

To our readers, thank you for your support of our little high school newspaper. I grow more and more proud of this paper and what we accomplish every day. The struggles of publishing multiple articles or multimedia pieces daily is harder than it seems, and we’re constantly submitting articles for awards and Best of SNOs to make our newspaper the best. Without your support and readership, we wouldn’t be doing this, so thank you.

A quick bit of advice, I want to remind anyone – underclassmen, graduates, parents and more – that passions and dreams deserved to be pursued. You deserve to go after what makes you happy and makes your life that much better. I know that I walked into high school ready to get the best grades and work super hard, but I soon realized that I would be super bored, and be missing something if all I did was care about the assignments I turned in. My extracurriculars, friends, school events and more made my high school experience the best that it could be.

Sitting at a Dallas Mavericks basketball game over Thanksgiving break, freshman Bailey Clark, Alex Clark and senior Alyssa Clark watch the game. Alyssa Clark values her family and friends, and looks to them as motivation to grow. “To my family – or otherwise known as my cheerleaders – thank you for all your support,” Clark said. “My endless rants about an opinion piece I’m working on can get annoying, I’m sure, but you raised me to always support my beliefs and speak my truth, and I would’ve never been here without you.” (Alyssa Clark)

So, again, thank you. To my teachers these past four years, my co-workers, administrators, friends, ENO teammates and family, you’ve helped me grow to the person I am today, and, going off to college now, I am so thankful for everything I’ve been given, and I’m so thankful for this newspaper.

A few weeks ago, I told some fellow seniors that I felt like I was leaving our baby behind, but I know ENO is in safe hands. It’s hard to say goodbye to something that means so much to you, and I can deny leaving as much as I want, but all good things must come to an end.

Senior year is often crazy and fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s all a breeze with no hardships. Saying goodbye to this newspaper is one of the hardest things I’ll do this year, but I can’t wait to see where it goes with the staff next year. This newspaper has changed so much in my life, and I think the best decision I’ve made in my high school career was to take my first journalism class my sophomore year, thinking it’d be interesting and fun – but it turned out to be one of my biggest passions and loves.

Thank you sincerely, and, with love,

Alyssa