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Well, for one thing, it's the coolest high school newspaper in all the land. Watch our video and find out more.
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
If you've been to a graduation ceremony recently, and you weren't more concerned with getting rained on than with paying attention, you heard an inspirational speech, probably several of them. Most likely, the speaker was positive. Check out this column by Katie Roiphe on the website Slate for a compelling read about grad speeches that take a negative track, perhaps for the better of the listener, Roiphe says.
Then read the following essays by two graduating tb-two* student editors. They are inspiring, too.
BY ALLIE DAVISON
Wharton High Class of 2012
“People have said the world ends with us, but in reality it is only just beginning. Congratulations class of 2012. We finally made it.”
That was how I ended my welcome speech as the senior class president of Wharton High on June 6. It was simple, but meant more to me than a lot of people could possibly understand.
Covering numerous graduations leading up to my very own this year, I realized the questions I was asking the nervous graduates, standing under the bleachers at the Expo Hall, were the same ones I needed to be asking myself.
What kind of life lessons am I taking away from high school? Enjoy every moment. No one can really grasp how fast time flies. As I stood at that podium, looking out into the sea of my fellow classmates in caps and gowns, I couldn’t help wondering where had time gone? Just a short while ago, I was that little freshman walking around campus like a deer in headlights. Now, I was a soon-to-be freshman in college with the same wide-eyed expression on my face. You never know when your time is up, so why not live life like everyday was your last?
Where do you see yourself in the future? I see myself graduating from Auburn University with a degree in journalism and on my way to a career as a sports reporter or sports team social media specialist. Beyond that, I hope to see myself happy. That when I look back on the last 30 years, I won’t be obsessing on the what ifs or if onlys … that I will be marveling at the memories I’ve made.
While listening to other graduates answer life perspective questions, I realized I was among a group that could include the next President of the United States or the future doctor who would cure cancer. I was listening to a future teacher who was inspired by the ones who taught us or the next Steve Jobs ready to change the world.
Allie Davison, a student editor of tb-two*, the Times weekly newspaper for high school students, will be attending Auburn University.
BY MICHAEL NEWCOMER
Tarpon Springs High Class of 2012
Valedictorians, salutatorians, and class presidents everywhere would like you to believe that life begins after high school, but I’ve always liked to think that it actually begins in high school. The experiences we have form us at this age and take us through the rest of our lives.
If I’ve learned anything in the four years I spent in high school it’s that everyone has a story, and they’re not always as unique as we’d like to believe. Many high school students lose their virginity, and dabble in drugs/alcohol for the first time; for some, that dabbling becomes addiction. Some lose a parent, many lose friends. Some fight depression, some live with abuse.
Yet, even amid all these demons, we learn to go to class with brave face and, many times, empty smile. We form cliques based on our common interests, but we’re all so much more connected than we realize.
The lessons learned in high school aren’t found in textbooks. In 20 years, I won’t remember the difference between mitosis and meiosis, or how America got into the Spanish-American War. What I will remember, however, is how to work with people you can’t stand, how to juggle work and play successfully, the traits of my parents that I choose to keep, and those I choose to avoid like the plague. The loss of innocence, and how to harness that into wisdom and positivity. That the neglected child can turn into a model parent. The kid battling depression can turn emotion into art. That there’s nobility in every profession. Not all of us will become rich and famous, and that’s okay. The number of stay-at-home moms and small business owners will far outweigh the “one percent” at our class reunions. High school, in class and out of it, has given us the skill set to realize our full potentials.
I want to be a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist in New York or Los Angeles one day, but if all fails, and I end up coming back to Tampa Bay working at one of the family businesses selling life insurance or handguns, I’ll be blessed with all of the memories of the road that took me there. After all, when one looks back at high school, do they see the diploma, or the four years of life-changing experiences that preceded it? We shouldn’t be afraid of failure, there is none when you enjoyed the ride. In America, the fields of opportunity are boundless.
Congratulations, Class of 2012. We’ve all heard that the greatest journey starts with a single step. The road in front of us is shrouded with the future’s uncertainty, but the only way to clear the path is to strap on our running shoes and start pounding the pavement.
Michael Newcomer, a student editor of tb-two*, the Times weekly newspaper for high schools, will be attending Stony Brook University in New York.