After two years of a missed opportunity to join the newspaper club for the school, I finally decided to commit to writing articles and enter my first social club.
Distance learning is challenging on its own, and extracurriculars didn't appeal at the start of the school year. However, I remember speaking with a friend from the seventh grade, eager to try something new for my last year of middle school. He was welcoming, kind, and someone I look up to to this day. He has taught me that a memorable experience can happen because of one person who helps you try. For that, I give my thanks to him for helping me get to where I am now in my writing journey.
Recently, I looked back on my very first article that was published in the newspaper. I will admit that I had no idea what I was doing at that point, and I twitched with embarrassment as I read through my writing from September. With all of that came reflections on how much I was willing to write about subjects I truly cared about, and no one was there to tell me I couldn't.
The club is run by two students in my grade, and an English teacher who polishes the edition before it gets published. Before I knew anything about the club, I was shocked, in complete disbelief, that three people ran this monthly newspaper. And there I was, thinking that it was run by an entire team of writers when really, it was standing because of two students and one teacher. As time went on, I understood why it was even possible that the editions were even being published. It was because of the efforts that those three hard workers put into each paper. No matter how big a project or foundation is, it only needs a few people to make it into something beautiful; and those three running this massive club are perfect examples of what companies these days need.
The friend who let me into the newspaper was someone I was particularly worried about. I would constantly ask him if he was okay, getting enough sleep, or needed any help at all. Every time, he told me not to worry, and I remember rolling my eyes and accepting the fact that he could never just take a break. As more editions were being published, I got to know the other editors a little better, including the teacher, who were working their butts off night and day. At first, I was a little hesitant about approaching them, as I wasn't close with them yet. Time went on, and I started interacting with them and the writers in the club. My "check-ins" weren't as often as before, as I soon understood that my friend and the other editors didn't need that kind of support as I would if I did anything remotely close to what they did. They were, and still are, strong people, and I'll always admire that. If you guys are reading this, please forgive me for misunderstanding.
Being in a newspaper has given me a taste of what it's like to be a real writer, for others to look at your work and to get it published. It made me appreciate stories, and helped me open my mind to all of the ideas I had stored up for so long. It took me a while to get comfortable with many of the others on the staff, but I'm glad that in the end, I can feel a sense of community during these times. The newspaper taught me so many things, but most of all, it taught me that one welcoming group can be formed and run from the ground up by a few amazing people who strive to help others express themselves.
It truly was the highlight of my year.
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