Dear senior year — how my words have come full circle


Kevin McPoland

A photo from my Cap and Gown photoshoot, one that makes it feel all too real

I’ve always had a sweet spot for writing; putting my feelings to words on paper is something that brings me a sense of joy—of peace. 

I started writing for The Central Trend my sophomore year. I was newly fifteen; I was quiet; I was wary. I wrote my first story, an editorial, titled “Are designer brands worth the hype?” It was a story of fabrication—I researched the topic and inevitably ended up siding with the opinions of the other published writers out there. It was my first story, but not my first story. 

It took me a while to write and publish a story that felt like me. I’d scroll through the site daily, reading and becoming mesmerized by the words of veteran writers. Therefore, I started writing stories like the ones I’d write in the comfort of my bedroom past hours, like the ones I thought nobody would ever lay eyes on.

And as I grew tired, my words and my fingers on the keyboard kept me afloat. The Central Trend gave me the opportunity to put my feelings to paper, and paper to being published. It gave me a sense of reassurance—that as much as the world around me was changing, I was not. 

I’ve become somebody who people rely on, who people come to with questions or worries or simply reassurance. I’ve become somebody who stands at the front of the room under a projector and runs meetings every day and signals the end of a meeting with a clap. I’ve become somebody who loves to pop AirPods in and edit ten stories at a time, being rewarded by clicking publish when the process is over. And this passion that only grew stronger as the work grew more strenuous is what made me realize that this is what I want to do. Write. 

Now, at age seventeen, I’m still in the same room, writing for the same site that has been my source of happiness. And this time, I won’t be returning to this room next year; rather, I’ll be stepping foot into Michigan State University’s ComArtSci building in East Lansing to do what I’ve been doing every day for the past three years. 

As I sit here, teary-eyed, writing my final Editors’ Column, I believe every person in Room 139 deserves a proper thank you. Arpita, thank you for your ever-so-genuine soul and beautiful words; Gigi, thank you for your insightfulness and for being a joy in the room (and for the Winterfest heels); Lauren K.,thank you for amazing me with your intelligence and blessing our readers with your intriguing stories; Man,thank you for being so, so caring and passionate under any circumstance; Madi, thank you for making me laugh; your smile lights up a room; Katelynn,thank you for your creativity and your devotion. You are so appreciated; Marissa, thank you for being such a pure soul. You are insanely talented; Alex, thanks for being so sweet, I’m really proud of how far you’ve come and how awesome you are; Audrey, thank you for being fearless and for inspiring the people around you, you’re truly incredible; Lauren B., thanks for being a person I’ve grown closer to this year and for being so kind and light-hearted; Allie, my love, I am going to miss you so much, and I am so proud of you in every aspect of your life; Coco, thanks for being a constant friend since middle school, I cannot wait to see what you do in life; Addy, thank you for growing and being motivated, I am so, so proud of you; Kelsey, thanks for always being there and having my back, you’re so loved. See you at MSU; Sofia, thanks for being a friend in the classroom and at the dance studio. You are the light of my life; Jessie, I am so happy we became better friends this year, I can’t wait to see where your talent takes you in life; Meggie, thanks for being an inspiration to literally everyone around you and for being the kindest person out there; Liza, thank you for being so attentive and so very kind. You have so much talent; Sydney, thank you for smiling and thank you for being a great human being; Eva, you never fail to amaze me with your words, I am so confident in saying I know you’ll go so far in life; Veronica, thank you for being unafraid and for being such a cool, determined person; Kiera, thanks for being literally adorable, I’m going to miss you next year; Ellie, thank you for being such an understanding and talented person.

To Mr. George, thank you a million times over for inspiring me, encouraging me, and pushing me to become who I am today. I truly don’t know where I’d be in this world without your presence and your influence. Having you since sophomore year Honors English 10 has led me to a place I could have only ever hope for. I am inexplicably thankful for you being such a huge person in my high school career. You inspire so many; and please, don’t retire tomorrow like you always say.

And to Natalie and Emma, my ride or dies, I cannot put to words how grateful I am to not only have met you, but to have spent every day of the last year and a half laughing, crying, and writing with you guys by my side.

This site, program, and people have paved my way to the future, and it has reassured me that I don’t have to give up writing or pressing publish or any of the things that The Central Trend provided me. I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing.