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.