By Emily Schmidt
To all my fellow seniors--
This is my final article for The Indianite. I would like to be completely honest about my experiences over my past four years as a writer and an editor. Up until the last article that I published about senior skip day, it seemed as if few of you ever read the school newspaper. I admit, the some of the articles that we’ve printed in the last few years have sometimes been dry and boring to read. Trust me, I hated writing sports game recaps and event previews more than anything.
However, one of the hardest things about being a writer is publishing a piece and having no one read it but your favorite teacher. Issue after issue, I’d watch you walk right past the full stack of newspapers on your way to second period. I’d watch you crumple up my article and throw it on the floor without even batting an eye. I’d watch you toss piles of newspapers into the recycling bin after the teacher distributed them to the class.
For the first couple of years, I was hurt by this behavior. Then I learned to accept the fact that I needed to write for myself. It didn’t matter who read it as long as I felt proud of my work. I carried this attitude up until the beginning of this year when I realized that I wasn’t writing for myself anymore. I was writing out of obligation to The Indianite.
Working up courage all year, I started adding my voice into the articles I wrote. My most recent article discussing senior skip day is one of the most provocative pieces I’ve ever written. I know that many of you read that article and were critical of it. Among the things said to me directly and about me in the hallway, I respect the fact that you differ in opinion, but it was unnecessary to put me down as a person. We all have opinions. Many of you take to social media to criticize people, events, and ideas that you do not agree with. I simply did the same thing in print form.
Some of the greatest articles ever written are newspaper editorials because they present unusual and debatable perspectives on common topics. My aim in writing the “infamous” senior skip day article was to get you to read the paper, and I certainly achieved my goal. I did witness my article’s being crumpled up and thrown into the trashcan, but this time I wasn’t upset about it. I knew that my article had been read. It didn’t matter whether the reader agreed or disagreed with me, but the fact that you were all thinking, forming opinions, and expressing yourselves made the harsh criticism all worth it.
For my parting words, I want to thank you for forcing me to grow a tougher skin, for helping me step outside my comfort zone, and for making me a better writer.
Good luck, Class of 2016. Stay passionate.
By Esther Kardos
At this point, all students are familiar with the dreaded College Questions--that is, the inquiries about their university plans all students seem to receive once they reveal to strangers that they’re currently enrolled in high school. These typically cover topics such as “What kind of college are you interested in?”, “Where do you think you’re going to go?”, “Which major are you thinking of pursuing?”, or anything equally well-intentioned yet intrusive.
And yet, after having gone through this cross-examination my fair share of times, I’ve noticed a rather disconcerting detail: out of the long list of College Questions, I have never been asked the question of if I wish to go college. In today’s society and in our community of Council Rock, it seems as if the idea of any high schooler’s having no desire to attend a university once graduation comes around is preposterous. The teen who doesn’t wish to go to college is, in society’s eyes, the same teen who lives in his parents’ basement and is some good-for-nothing delinquent who will eventually become mankind’s burden.
But that’s wrong. The adults who encourage this visual are the individuals who grew up in a time when learning was affordable and employers looked for a college diploma when scouting for every high-paying job. However, that’s certainly not the case anymore, and the preconceived notion that college is absolutely mandatory is one of society’s largest and most expensive scams to date.
After all, in this new age, there is an abundance of reasons why someone would choose to pursue a passion without college. The facts are that self-application beats education in a number of fields, and no matter what you’re planning on majoring in, being able to come out of your early twenties debt-free is an extremely appealing thought. At this point, paying off student loans puts college students’ dreams on hold until they reach the age of forty; the artist paying off thousands of dollars of art school debt may be just as talented as the artist who chose not to attend college, but the former will have to work various minimum wage jobs for a decade while the latter is able to create dozens of paintings in that time. And minimum-wage jobs may seem to be blessings to these twenty-somethings, considering that nearly 85% of college graduates will graduate and then return home jobless, hopefully to find employment in the near future.
Thus, even when faced again with the College Questions, never miss out on the fact that you always have choices. In a society where our education system may seemingly suggest one path, don’t be afraid to break your parents’ hearts and choose a route that doesn’t involve a bachelor’s degree. In the end, this isn’t anyone else’s future to choose; it’s your own.