That’s a Wrap


By Jenna George

Dear Niles West,

I joined Niles West News second semester of my junior year, which tends to be later than most people. And the only excuse I have for that is my stubbornness.

I have always been a writer, except my writing has always been strictly for my eyes only. One day, I was bombarded by a friend and a friend’s parent who practically begged me to join the NWN; I politely shut them down.

“News writing isn’t my style of writing. Anyway, I doubt anyone ever reads that stuff,” I said to them both confidently and went on my way.

Before those words came out of my mouth, had I ever once checked out the NWN website in my free time? I can’t say that I had; not even for a few minutes.

Shutting this idea down sophomore year was both a mistake and a lesson. The same two people targeted me junior year, promising me it would be in my best interest if I joined. To shut them up, I agreed to it and talked to my counselor. Since it was already too late in the semester to change, I had to wait until second semester and I most definitely was not complaining.

As they all say, junior year was difficult, especially first semester. It was filled with long, treacherous, agonizing work — and in the back of my mind, the ACT was always there. So when my first semester came to an end, I was thrilled to say the least.

The start of a new semester isn’t as terrible as the middle of a semester. Your grades get a fresh start, and sometimes your schedule changes which is a nice mix up. Little did I know that this tiny schedule change would soon change my life.

Room 2155 was not where we learned how to do calculus or where we took notes on government-related issues. It wasn’t about learning how to speak another language, or memorizing the atomic number for all of the elements on the periodic table. Room 2155 was not just “News Production” as my schedule called it. It was a room filled with brilliance, creativity, laughter, arguing, debates, parties, and a ridiculous amount of friendships.

Niles West News taught me so much more than I ever thought possible. It taught me lessons that I’m going to share with you as I say goodbye.

1.) Don’t be afraid to open up. Whether it’s to your parents, siblings, a close friend, or to the entire world, letting out your feelings is always important. I’ve always loved to write, but I always refused to share my work; Niles West News expanded my horizons. I shared my first-love story online for the entire world to read and it’s not as scary as you think. Express yourself.

2.) Accept Praise. If someone feeds you a compliment, chances are they mean it. Before NWN, if someone gave me a compliment, I would shake it off and tell myself they they’re lying. “Why would they mean that?” Well, hello…why would they say it if they didn’t mean it? Writing personal stories for the public taught me that when people give you feedback, chances are it’s going to be true. And if it’s positive, don’t ignore it. Accept it and be proud.

3.) Stay true to who you are. It’s hard sometimes when you feel like the entire world is out to get you. When a fight with a friend piles onto a failed test which piles onto your sprained ankle, it’s problem after problem, day after day; you can’t catch a break. But no matter what, stay true to who you are. At the end of the day, NWN taught me to ignore the bashing and the smack talk. It taught me that not everyone is going to love what you do all of the time, but that doesn’t mean you should stop doing it. Staying true to who you are takes a lot of strength, but you don’t want to become someone you’re not.

Four years ago, I walked into this school without a single clue about where I wanted to be heading out, but I found myself, and so will all of you. High school is about finding your passions and your strengths. Lucky for me, my passion was my strength; Niles West News is what brought that out in me, and I have never been so thankful.

To the class of 2016, thanks for an interesting  four years, and to my Fairview homies, thanks for a crazy 13. A huge thank you to all of my teachers (specifically Mrs. Evelyn Lauer, Mrs. Lauren Flahive, Mrs. Dena Lichterman, Mrs. Rachel Gross, and Mr. DJ Kosiba), Mr. Mark Rigby, and Dr. Jason Ness. It’s been a roller coaster — and unfortunately, it’s not one I can get in line for again. But here’s to the next chapter in my life. Good luck to my graduating class on their new journey and good luck to the rest of the school as you all finish your time here at Niles West.

Make the most of it; high school only comes around once.

That’s a wrap. Thanks for listening.


Jenna George