A final letter from the editor: some things are bigger than high school

Sydney Lewis

More stories from Sydney Lewis


      I don’t have a particular affinity for my high school experience. The best parts of high school were the times not even related to school. It was when I went to South Africa and studied human rights and politics with people that became some of my best friends. It was initiating a protest that encouraged 700 people to walk out of school. It was missing school to go to DC and learn about gun violence with Giffords. Traveling to DC to learn from professionals about journalism. 

      One day earlier this year, I raced through the halls to get to the Social Studies Resource Center. I was there to ask Mr. Sibley if he would help me with a project I was working on. I eagerly explained my whole project and what I needed from him and after he agreed, he said this: “I hope in all of your work, you don’t forget to be just a high schooler.” I thought about it for a moment before coming to the conclusion that I’m doing the work I’m doing so that the next group of high schoolers gets to do just that. 

      I have dedicated the last ten months to teaching staff how to create an inclusive and safe school for LGBTQ+ students. I spent the two years before that leading efforts to prevent gun violence.

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say I sacrificed my high school experience; I enjoyed everything I did. But I definitely had a high school experience unlike many others at this school. I watched our football team through the lens of my camera. I saw the school productions from the headset through which I ran the show. I saw the school parking lot, standing on the roof of my car, at midnight after a long rehearsal. I saw the East Entrance as the perfect location for a protest. I saw the Social Studies Resource Center as the best place to get on a conference call. I saw Student Center South as a place to organize positive change within the school.

      High school won’t be the best time of my life. I would be thoroughly disappointed if it was. 

      Our life is made of so many more experiences than what happened in the past four years. I appreciate all my growth and development over the past four years. But I hope that the next four bring even more opportunities.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t forget to transfer anything you want to keep from your school Google drive to a personal one.