Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
It is a common belief that we go out of life similarly to how we entered it: wrinkly, cute, and in diapers. Well, I suppose the same can be said about high school, in the sense that we come into high school and leave it in the same way. In each case we have to stop and remind ourselves to breathe. Both times we are sad to think of the friends we are leaving behind, but we are excited for the relationships we may discover, and while we may know where we are going, we are still unsure of where our journey will truly take us and who we will meet along the way. Yet we continue onward, putting one shaky foot in front of the other.
However, before we move on into the unknown future, we tend to look over our shoulders and pause to glance back at what we are leaving behind and reflect on dusty memories we know we will always cherish. If I turn to my older memories, I see jittery hands performing freshman year biology dissections, sweaty palms imagining someone handing me a marker to do DOLs on the board in front of my entire class in Honors English I, and my first football game, where I was incredibly terrified of the student section.
Fast forward a couple years after that. Through the flurries of National Art Honor Society meetings and beyond my first true academic challenge in AP Human Geography, one will find Mrs. Knall making hilariously sarcastic comments in Newspaper and AP English III, Coach Thomas bellowing my last name when my turn came to answer a question in APUSH, and Ms. Huntley saying “What’s up Umbridge?” to Ms. Neff when she entered my precalculus classroom dressed in pink.
Take an even shorter glance back at the last year. I immediately think of rushed mornings comparing calculus problem sets in the media center, being taught by Ms. Fackler-Bretz in the second best place on Earth behind Disney World, and retrieving the letter I wrote my freshman year to my graduating self from Mrs. Whitsett. Again, I see Apex High’s newsroom, and the memories made there truly stand out from the rest.
Walking into room 203 for the first time was an incredible feeling. I was eager to become a writer for the Legacy, but I was also extremely nervous. The room was crawling with seniors, and being a junior at the time, I was uncomfortable being in a room nearly filled with even slightly older kids I had not known who were all close friends. Still, I was a strong writer, and maybe arrogantly, I knew I would impress them with my first article. I was sure they would read it and recognize immediately that I was fit to be a staff writer and that I belonged on the Legacy.
Unfortunately, that did not happen, at all. We had finished a couple quick grammar lessons and gone over Associated Press style, and the end of the second week was coming to an end. That was when I saw my first story covered in blue and red pen; I could not even comprehend how I had made so many errors. It was difficult to even read the article through the notes scrawled in the margins and the lines of text the editors have marked through. I feel like I might just be the weakest writer in the class, and when I feel terrible about my writing, I write more.
So I finish another article, and I turn that in. This time, while there are still quite a few mistakes, there are less, and a smidge of improvement is good enough for me for my third week of newspaper. After that, I continued to refine my skills, and even now, I see that I have still so far to go to become the novelist I have always dreamed of being. But I thank newspaper, Mrs. Knall, and Mrs. McGee for giving me the confidence to pursue my literary dreams and for pushing me to become a better writer.
Looking back at my first semester of Newspaper, I see myself as being rather silly. All of my peers were so gifted and so kind; later that year, as I came to know them, I became increasingly perplexed with the idea that I had ever feared them at all.
Skip to the next chapter of my life in newspaper, exactly one year later, and here I am, preparing to graduate and head off to UNC Chapel Hill, along with Legacy’s other Editor-in-Chief Henry McKeand, to study biology. Newspaper has been my favorite class at Apex High because of the opportunities it has provided me with as well as the friends it has allowed me to make. It is a class which brings so many different students together in one room who all have a passion for writing, and whether you prefer sports or news or entertainment, we have a story for you to cover and a place for you behind one of our computers.
Legacy was amazing when I joined it although it has gone through several enormous changes. I have seen most of Legacy’s more seasoned writers graduate; I have seen a new advisor take over the class, and I have seen a new blog created, but I can still say that Legacy is amazing. In the years to come, I know the blog will only get better and the writers will only get stronger, and Legacy will grow. More and more students will get to experience that feeling of first seeing their name published above their own article beneath that bolded headline, and that feeling is one of the best in the world, and the unexplainable euphoria I still feel when I see one of my stories pop up on the blog is something I will greatly miss.
It is bittersweet to be leaving Apex High and the Legacy, but I am still so excited to find what awaits me and all of my fellow seniors in the years to come. While all of my high school memories may not have been the happiest, I will still hold the worst ones just as close to my heart as the best ones.
While I may turn my head away from my memories for now, I will often look back on them fondly, and I will be sure to visit everyone I leave behind as I move on to college. I am so grateful to everyone at Apex High for these bright and sparkling memories that I will carry for the rest of my life. Forever will they glitter and shine beautifully in my mind.
It was William Shakespeare who once wrote, “All that glitters is not gold,” and he could not have been more correct, for all that glitters is black and gold.