Junior Year Died

Since I recently concluded my junior year of high school, the cliché “Year in Review” blog post feels natural for this week. At first I thought I would just cover the best happenings of each month, but then I realized I only associate negative occurrences with some months, so I’m covering it all: the good, the bad, the could-have-been-better, the could-have-been-worse, the absolute best and the complete worst.  

August: This Blog: As a brand new Online Editor-in-Chief for the Free Press, I felt as though the paper’s website needed some sprucing up. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way–the Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City continuously agreed with me in their harsh reviews of the site during the years previous. Incorporating staff blogs seemed like the first step in up-ing our JEMKC rating of “fair” to “good.” I remember typing my first post, worrying about what my mom, my grandma and random Googlers in Russia would think about the stuff that goes on in my head. Nervous, I steered clear of deep personal matters for that post, instead musing about the catastrophe that was my accidental and incestuous gerbil farm.  You can read that post here.

Ian and me after our race. My shirt came off because I am such an athlete.

Ian and me after our race. My shirt came off because I am such an athlete.

September: A Marathon Relay: My mother forced me to participate in a marathon relay with my grandma, my father, one of my little brothers and her. Actually, she will say that she didn’t force me–she “asked if I was interested.” What she won’t mention is that when she asked if I was interested, I said, “No, not interested,” and she signed me up anyway. But I was a good sport, even if I ran the shortest leg of the race and ate more than everybody else at the finish line. Also, it should be noted that nothing compares to that special feeling I have inside knowing that my grandmother could kick my butt in a footrace or a push-up competition or any physically-demanding activity whatsoever.

October: Jonas brother Concert (Almost): One time the Jonas Brothers were going to get back together, and my friends and I were going to relive our childhood on one magical Halloween night concert of the century. After weeks of scraping together ticket money, assigning Disney-themed costumes to members of our group and feeling a general sense of ecstatic anticipation, we were dismayed to discover that because of a “deep rift within the band,” the entire tour had been canceled and there would be no concert.

November: Boston: I went to Boston for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. My newspaper friends and I roamed around the city, self-touring Harvard, Boston College, Emerson and Boston Harbor, practicing our horrific Bostonian accents all the while. Because of bad weather in other parts of the country, our flights got delayed so we missed an extra day of school, which was fabulous. I also took stealth photos of hot guys that you can check out here.

December: Surprise Birthday Party: After avoiding birthday parties for three years, I reluctantly rejoined the trend of yearly celebrating one’s own existence. I also blogged about it, which you can read here.

January: Student of the Month: My calculus teacher nominated me for Student of the Week in December, probably because I frequented math tutoring with somewhat embarrassing regularity. Eventually, I magically won Student of the Month and got a sweet parking spot for the last 10 days of January. Also, the group responsible for managing Student of the Month announcements forgot to change the Student of the Month board by the office for several months, so my reign as Eleventh Grade Female Student of the Month of January lasted until early April. Ironically, the calc teacher that nominated me for Student of the Week recently rejected me for Link Crew–a group of upperclassmen that welcome freshmen to high school in August. Not sure what that means about our relationship.

February: Forensics: I went to a forensics tournament every Saturday of February at 6 a.m. in my best business casual. I broke to finals exactly zero times, but I learned how to give an informative speech in heels, so it wasn’t all for not. You can read about my experience here.

March: Pygmy Goats: Baby Pygmy goats are the G.O.A.T. My aunt has several kids–human and goat–running around her farm, and I got to hold all of them in one of the cutest days of the year.

April: What Hell Feels Like: April was the most stressful month of my entire life. A couple of my friends were convinced that I had an anxiety disorder–some of them still are–because of my constant emotional state of freaked out. This was also the month when I (unsuccessfully) attempted mediating and drinking weird teas to find my inner zen.

May: Double Take: Double Take is an advice column, co-written by a local psychologist and a high school senior or junior, that appears weekly in the Lawrence Journal World. Each year, a contest is held in late April/early May to find the next high school-aged co-author. Surprisingly, after an incredibly awkward mock TV interview and sub par first essay, I came out on top by such a narrow margin that there was almost a tiebreaker.  I’ll begin imparting weekly teenage “wisdom” in August. It’ll be a lot of writing, but I’m going to give meditation another go, so everything should probably be fine.


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