As the 2021-2022 school year is wrapping up, lots of Bourbon County seniors are getting the last taste of high school. Graduation is in a mere two weeks, which means for seniors it’s their last goodbyes.
As a senior, I’ve had the honor to enjoy these last moments, bittersweet as they may be. Being one of the many seniors claiming their diplomas soon, I’ve had time to look back on the past four years of my education and life.
I’ve been in journalism for all four years of high school. I became a part of this news team when we first went digital. I have also had the pleasure of having Mrs. Francis since the beginning. She arrived in Bourbon County at the same time I did. We were all learning and adapting to the new environment, which made it easier.
As I started working on the paper, I learned a lot more about journalism than ever before. I learned how to phrase my writing in a way that I could never do before. I gained more knowledge of the outside world. I started to gain a place, which is seemingly hard in a school of 800+ students. I was insecure and shy, which wouldn’t change until my junior year. I was still not sure about a lot of things leading up to my junior year when everything would change.
As the first year on the paper came to an end, as well as my freshman year, I was a natural at doing what I was doing. I was easily coming up with new ideas and was excited to start typing up my next draft. Sophomore year eventually came around, as did the new role of the news staff. News editors and staff came whilst the old floated away, the same way I would in just a few years.
In my sophomore year, I learned a lot about myself. I learned so many new things and went through struggles to get to where I am now. I went through heartache and many laughs. My sophomore year was going similar to my freshman year until everything started crumbling down. COVID-19 news hit while I was at school. I found out that my year was getting cut short during my school days. I remember all the teachers struggling to figure out how to handle everything being online. It was strange not going to school every day like I was so used to, especially not spending my last hour of school in my favorite classroom in the school building, the one I felt safe in. I spent the remainder of my sophomore year doing online school, which would continue until the end of my junior year.
Even though we were in Zoom classes every day, Mrs. Francis always made sure to keep the fun vibe going. When we were not working on articles, we would play fun games. We would do little scavenger hunts trying to find something in our rooms, and as funny as it is to look back at me scrummaging around my room for something red or round, this made me feel a sense of normalcy. However, away from home, I learned so much more about myself than I did back when I was young. Maybe it was due to the fact that I was almost seventeen, but I was growing and I became someone new.
Coming back in person for the first time since I was a sophomore was exciting for me, but it was also strange. The last time I was in this school building, I was a whole other person. Now I’m going back to being different than I ever was. I went back, however, not knowing how much this year’s journalism class would change me even more. I went into this school year not knowing I would end up meeting some of my favorite people and my besties. I had already known my best friend Riley ever since I was in middle school, so finally being able to be in a class with him was amazing.
Through Riley, I also got to meet the wonderful group of people that I now consider my friends. Taylor was in journalism before this year, but I never got the chance to talk with her. Taylor is honestly such a hard worker. She does what she does and is the definition of looking good doing it. She is such a kind, sweet soul who I will miss extremely when I’m gone, and I will especially miss her amazing mascara application at the end of every day. I know that the paper is in good hands with her still there. She is an amazing junior editor and I’m so glad to see the change she will make, not only in journalism but in life.
I also got the chance to meet Brooke. Brooke ended up being in my editing group at the beginning of this year. I watched her grow as a writer, and she is an amazing one at that. Her stories are spooky and will probably make you re-evaluate your life and the people you know. Seriously, how are all these true crime stories so spooky? Brooke is funny and loves it when I bring food, which makes me happy. I’m going to miss Brooke a lot when I’m gone.
I also met the wonderfully sweet girl that is Jasmine. Jasmine is the definition of pink if it was a person. She is bubbly and sweet and always makes sure to compliment everyone. She is a wonderful person, and even if she doesn’t want to admit it, she’s a wonderful writer. She is goofy in the best ways and an amazing person just to be around. She radiates positivity. I will miss her presence so much after the last day.
Then there’s James. I don’t know how to describe him without saying the word “my god.” He’s funny in his own way and loves to give the whole class a run for their money. He likes his food when I bring it in every day and jokingly bullies everyone when he gets a chance to. As much fun as it is to tease him back, he’s actually not too bad. Okay, maybe alright even. He makes every day in that class funnier, and I’ll miss his strange comebacks every day. Hopefully, he continues on with his legacy for the next journalism group.
Lastly, there’s Riley, of course. I’ve known him since I was thirteen, and even though all those years of knowing him before, being in journalism with him made our friendship even better. It was so nice to be able to see my best friend every day after not being able to see each other much before. Every day I got to talk with him and just be able to hang out with him whilst also being in my favorite class. Like seriously, who wouldn’t enjoy that? I’ve gotten used to the fact that I got to hang out with him every day, and that habit is going to be terribly hard to break. I’m going to miss our little sanctuary so much. I’ll miss seeing him grow more and more every day. He is honestly the best he’s ever been, which makes me very proud. I’m so thankful that not only does the paper get to enjoy his presence for years to come, but so will I.
This journalism group has been the best. I do believe we have become more of a family than ever before. We got to do some of our best work, and we did it together. I’m going to miss everything about it once I move the tassel. Life goes on, however, even when you are fading away from it.
These past four years have been the absolute best. I could not ask for better. A lot of the credit belongs to none other than Mrs. Francis. She has created a space where everyone feels welcome and everyone feels important. She has worked so hard for all of us to be able to accomplish the things we do. She is more than just an advisor or teacher; she has done more than that. She is a true star in our paper world, and I’ll miss her so much. Thank you to Mrs. Francis for the best four years a girl could dream of. Thank you to all of my besties who have given me the comfort of your company this past year. Thank you to everyone who is involved in journalism. This paper wouldn’t be here without you.
Lastly, thank you to me, as odd as that may sound. I’ve gotten to create a whole other world because of old Abby, and I thank her for signing up for journalism. I’m going to miss logging onto this website every news cycle and even more the sounds of my Chromebook typing. It has been an amazing journey and an amazing four years. Goodbye.