Senior Column: Executive Feature Editor shares gratitude, gives final farewell

In+a+digitally+constructed+image+by+senior+and+Executive+Feature+Editor+Gabriella+Winans%2C+Winans+and+her+family%2C+friends+and+pets+are+shown.+Winans+has+been+a+member+of+Eagle+Nation+Online+since+her+sophomore+year.+I+have+made+some+pretty+great+memories+these+past+four+years%2C+Winans+said.+I+will+definitely+miss+this+place.

Gabriella Winans

In a digitally constructed image by senior and Executive Feature Editor Gabriella Winans, Winans and her family, friends and pets are shown. Winans has been a member of Eagle Nation Online since her sophomore year. “I have made some pretty great memories these past four years,” Winans said. “I will definitely miss this place.”

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As the high school chapter of my life comes to a close, I’d like to reflect back on the memories I’ve had and the friendships I’ve made over these past four years. While I prepare to head to Dallas Baptist University in the fall, I’m also taking the time to cherish these next two weeks before graduation. It will be bittersweet to leave, and while the people I’ve met at Prosper High School make it all harder to go, the time I’ve spent here has truly meant more than I could have ever imagined it would coming in my freshman year.

Faith

I could not look back on everything I’ve done these past four years – especially in journalism – without thanking God. He has given me the ability to do what I love, and I will forever credit Him for my every success in life.

Family

Another thing I remain incredibly grateful for is my family. From supporting me at early morning UIL meets, to listening to me talk non-stop about journalism, to reading and sharing my every article, I appreciate and love you all more than you could ever know.

At Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for spring break, senior Gabriella Winans and her family stand for a picture. Winans said her family has been one of her biggest support systems throughout high school. “They’re always so supportive,” Winans said. “We have so much fun together.” (Walt Disney World)

Your help and knowing that you’d be proud whatever the outcome has infinitely helped me get through the harder parts of high school. Thank you.

Friends

The friends I have made and the times I have had with them during high school prevail to be some of my most favorite memories. If someone were to tell my middle school self some of the people I would become near-siblings with, I would have thought they were crazy. I have friends not on Eagle Nation Online who still read and share the paper, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

To my best friends on staff, you guys have been the best part of my year. Senior year has been a whole step up from the rest of high school because of you all, so thank you. We laugh so much, and your presence has made school a thing for me to look forward coming to just to see you all every day in Room 1148. I’m not looking forward to the day we say goodbye, but you all will do great things, and I can’t wait to meet up again.

UIL

At the University of Texas at Austin for the UIL State meet May 6, seniors Amanda Hare and Gabriella Winans take a selfie with their medals. Hare and Winans both placed at the State meet. Both have been competing on the UIL Journalism team since they were freshmen. (Gabriella Winans)

If someone asked me to name the first thing off the top of my head that I remember from high school, it would be the University Interscholastic League, or UIL. I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t competing, and I will miss it immensely next year. I began competing my freshman year, and through the ups and downs – whether that be competing virtually from my bed while quarantined, to running across UT Austin’s campus to make it on time to my competition at the State meet – every memory I’ve made while a part of the UIL Journalism team has been cherished deeply.

UIL has helped me to grow in so many ways, both as a writer and an editor with the feedback I’ve received, and I’ll never forget my late-night rituals the night before a competition to give me good luck. I’d like to thank Mrs. Roskens for not giving up on pursuing me for the team, as I have truly found so much joy in the jitters I’d receive during each competition. I miss UIL every summer, so I cannot imagine how much I’m going to miss it as I continue on my journey to college.

Eagle Nation Online

I cannot explain the way high school infinitely improved after joining Eagle Nation Online my sophomore year. My freshman year felt rather lonely due to my not being on a team, so once I joined ENO, I finally felt that united feeling that having teammates gives you. There’s nothing like it.

I was pretty positive I was going to go into yearbook after my freshman year Journalism I class, and after the deadline passed, I thought I was stuck in newspaper. It turns out that this was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

At the Quill & Scroll International Honor Society ceremony, the Eagle Nation Online Editorial Board stands with their graduation cords. The Editorial Board consists of seniors Julia Chung, Alyssa Clark, Gabriella Winans, Amanda Hare and Christi Norris. “This Board will be one of the things I miss most about newspaper,” Winans said. “We all work so well together, and I’ll miss our bond.” (Lisa Roskens)

I have shared people’s stories, covered world events and talked to people across the country, and I would have never had these opportunities without this class. Finally publishing an article that was once so tedious is so rewarding, and having your best friends in the class to watch you do so is equally gratifying.

I’d like to thank our newspaper adviser, Mrs. Roskens, for not giving up on getting me into Eagle Nation Online. Your help and guidance over these past four years has given me comfort in knowing that I can ask you anything. Thank you for always having your door open, so I always have somewhere to go in the morning. I am greatly going to miss seeing you every day.

To our readers, thank you for sticking with us. Your support throughout every article I have published has meant so much to me. I hope you continue to read Eagle Nation Online, as there are so many great things to come.

Farewell

As we part, I would like to leave you with this: be willing to try things in high school. A class I was once refusing to be a part of has given me more than I could have ever imagined. Have fun, and enjoy high school while it lasts – because it goes by so, so quickly. I remember walking in the front doors of Prosper High School as a freshman like it was yesterday. Now, as I prepare to walk out those same doors, I’m leaving feeling more fulfilled than ever.

Thank you, and, with love, signing off,

Gabriella