Thank you and goodbye, TCT

95 stories and two years of my life later, I have finally reached something that appeared to be so insanely far away from when I first walked into Mr. George’s two rooms on the first day of sophomore year: my last story, and consequently, my farewell to The Central Trend

So, what better way is there to bid farewell than to take a somewhat detailed, nostalgic trip down memory lane and revisit what TCT has given me and taught me throughout the two years I was lucky enough to be a part of it? 

The first nine weeks of my sophomore year entailed learning the ropes of what it meant to be a writer for TCT through Mr. George’s instruction in Writing for Publication. My confidence in my writing first sprouted when Mr. George asked if he could publish a letter I wrote to competitive dance, and so my first story was posted on October 3, 2018. This story did and still does mean nothing less than the world to me. Through writing it, I allowed myself to be vulnerable—something I very rarely do—and my sturdy walls temporarily crumbled for TCT’s audience: this was one of the most compelling feelings of empowerment I have ever experienced.   

Once my rank was officially promoted to Staff Writer on Halloween of 2018, I commenced writing features and profiles and became increasingly involved and aware of the happenings of FHC. From writing about the accomplishments of  National Merit students to the qualities and experiences of amazing and talented humans such as Hannah Weinman and Logan Schenk, TCT took me throughout the entire school and student body to get a good story, and I’m forever grateful for the people that the subjects of features and profiles brought me into conversation with. 

And although I somehow always got stuck with seemingly boring feature topics, I always figured it out in the end, and the skill of making a story out of nothing and having faith in improvisation are two things I will take with me to senior year, college, and beyond. 

My sophomore year ended with Emma Hansen and I officially parting ways with half of the members of the beloved group we started WFP with: us, Rachel Toole, and Delaney Tucker. My first year in TCT would not have been the same without the countless hilarious and meaningful conversations I had with these three girls every day from 1:40-2:45 pm. Meanwhile, I wrote about my completion of sophomore year in “Class of 2021, it’s almost time—soon,” and this column contained expressions of my anxiety involving standardized testing and my anticipation for the Candlelight Ceremony. It’s definitely challenging to read now, but it truly reaffirms the fact that we aren’t guaranteed anything.  

I’m so glad I had such incredible people to be around every day and inspire to be and write like.

My official return to TCT as a junior occured on August 30, 2019, and this time I was writing as a Social Media Manager for the site. I was so excited to gain experience in running a public social media account and experimenting with how TCT could broaden its audience and gain an even larger following than it ever had before. 

Shortly after, my prayers were answered when the editors announced that specialization was an option, and I instantly requested to specialize in reviews; however, I ended up being assigned editorials. Writing editorials allowed me to develop a distinct argumentative writing style, and I learned the hard way about the utmost importance that there is in effectively communicating your purpose as a writer and choosing your words wisely. Although I specialized in reviews for the rest of the year, I’m very thankful for the writing skills I developed within the nine weeks of writing solely editorials. 

And after a countless amount of reviews later, we’re caught up to now: my final story. I joined staff as someone who desired to improve their writing skills, and although 95 stories later I still struggle with transitions and fluency in writing, looking up synonyms of words to sound more impressive, write cliches frequently, lose the word I want to use constantly, think I still write too formally, and feel like my writing gets repetitious, I’m leaving TCT as so much more than an improved writer. 

I’ve choked back tears writing this story, and I even had a dream last night about me making a schedule change that put TCT back on my schedule. I have definitely put writing this off, and that’s because I don’t want to say goodbye just yet: I always imagined myself having one more year on staff. 

Finally, I want to extend a “thank you” to every staff member I worked with these past two years. The TCT family was not one that I fled to often, but I always knew that it was there whenever I needed it—and I wish I took advantage of that. The staff of both years was undeniably talented, and I’m so glad I had such incredible people to be around every day and inspire to be and write like.

So, as I prepare to take on what it means to be a senior, I have to start my long list of goodbyes. 

It is with a very heavy yet grateful heart that I thank and say goodbye to TCT.