Ending in cliche: the beginning of the end—goodbye sweet friend


From top to bottom: Addy Cousins, Kiera Kemppainen, Madi Evans, and I sitting on the infamous, TCT couch

To a lifestyle writer who probably feels just a little lost,

In a stream of consciousness almost routine, I write these very words with little to no passion or all too much—maybe that’s the sign that it is all over. From the first words I ever set into the world with very little forethought, all the way to now where every last word feels like a cliffhanger. 

While they go unnoticed, the graying images of my stories have unironically symbolized the cut-off of my ‘Central Trend experience.’ While I wish I could use some poetic rhythm to say I’ve been blue, even the most vibrant hues could never do this goodbye justice.

I have gotten into the arguable habit of writing everything that was, and even what wasn’t because of the place I’m currently in. However, I believe I’ve found the will within myself to write this, even when I’ve run out of things to say. 

A blurry picture of fellow Staff Writer Gigi Sinicrope and me from the other day in the TCT room. I vaguely remember what we were talking about, but I know for a fact I wouldn’t have the pleasure of calling Gigi someone I can talk to without this class. I feel like she’s going to take over for me in the next couple of years—I see a lot of big things in her future. For the entirety of this year, I have been proud of Gigi for taking after me in the lifestyle tab; I kind of feel like a proud mom.

I’m embarrassed to admit but sometimes, I let my accomplishments pass me by, and I forget that I am blessed to be a part of the community that I am in. I get caught up in my stressors, and I begin to let my passion slip through my fingers.

Regardless of how I’ve lived my entire life, I decided to let this one opportunity pass me by.

I have written well over one-hundred and sixty stories, surpassed fourteen-thousand five-hundred views on just one article, been recognized countless times on Instagram, and poured my heart and soul into this website—I feel like there’s nothing left for me, I know I’ve given my all.

Madi Evans and I at prom ’22. Just a few days before, my date and I decided we wouldn’t be attending together but, out of the kindness of her heart, Madi included me in her group. Madi is someone you want on your side. She’s extremely loyal and will always have your back; I can only hope she feels the same about me. This night was so fun because of the way that she, Lotta, Marie, and Maya treated me like just another member of their group. While I don’t know either of the exchange students that well, I felt welcomed by them, nonetheless. I’m so happy for Madi in the fact that she surrounds herself with people who genuinely care.

Lost on my way to the first day of class, all the way to crying and saying goodbye on the couch, mourning the friend I never had, I wanted a lot of things just because I felt like I deserved them. And maybe I did, but it wasn’t what I got—I made the best of it. I’ve always been a writer, and so, I write on.

We haven’t written anything new, we haven’t gotten any views, we haven’t been recognized yet, but we have spent hours pouring our hearts into the new—I feel like there’s a lot there for me, and I plan to give it my all.

From left to right: myself, Masyn Cole, Kiera Kemppainen, and Addy Cousins celebrating in the TCT room. To be honest with you, on staff, we’re always throwing a party for something—I can’t remember what this one was for. But, nonetheless, I always felt included in the celebration itself because of my close friends. I know I won’t be on staff next year, but these girls have given me the home I’ve always longed for. I couldn’t express my gratitude enough. Little moments like these captured on film always make me tear up.

Maybe it’s a childish dream to have people listen just because I’m speaking and not yelling, maybe I’m in over my head. But I do agree, “It’s all ugly: this change,” and yet, I’m overtaken by looming hope and some sort of drive that I know like an old friend, or even like an older sister.

Maybe I know the “Woman on The Moon” all too well or even how it feels to have “jam hands,” but I feel understood nonetheless. I think that’s why I want to write; I feel acknowledged for my success—a way to say ‘understood’, the way that matters. 

From right to left: Madi Evans, Kelsey Dantuma, and I on the seniors’ last day on staff—there were a lot of tears and Jimmy Johns. I had multiple pictures from the hour of Kelsey sobbing because I had never seen the girl cry. Madi, too, for that matter. Whenever we’re in the TCT room, we’re always laughing about something; we aren’t usually sad. Being able to be vulnerable with the people I’ve spent the last years of my life with is weirdly satisfying—I feel understood and accepted.

You thought you were taught “lessons of life learned through love,” and I just took the picture—that isn’t the case this time. I’ve learned the very same through you.

It started with a “Countless Thanks” just a few years ago when you said “I love you” for the first time, all the way to now: an auspicious reader. 

This might be an end of a three-year period, but the beginning of something new—thank you to The Central Trend for giving me the skills to be better. A better author; a better person; a better friend.

My forever friend Val Garza and I “horizontally sitting” on an ottoman and “Kelsey’s chair” in room 139/140. One of my favorite parts of TCT is the fact that it is a sixth-hour class and that my friends would always come in and meet me after school to talk about our days. I’m not entirely sure why they always walked in, but I loved every second of it every day. This was just another one of those instances where Val, Celine, and Payton took the time out of their afternoon to see me.

I’m always taking pictures, most of which have turned gray with age, to remind me of the life I’ve lived thus far, maybe even the impact I’ve made. But at the end of the day, I’m not sorry for any of it. My tears are on this carpet, I’ve spent the time, and I’ve fought the fight—I’m not sorry for any of it.

I don’t know where this cut-off will leave me or where it will take me, but at the end of the day, it will always be 11:10 somewhere.

With love, Veronica Vincent