The people that pick up the pieces


Taken on a day where we all felt the love.

I’ve bitten off more than I can chew this week, to be honest, and it seems as if everyone around me has had to pick up the pieces that my arms are too small to carry. 

My plate is always overflowing with an interview to transcribe, an album to review, a test to study for, a chapter to read. This is not an unfamiliar feeling for any student, it is not an unfamiliar feeling for me as a senior accustomed to the heavy workload of school, yet this week I have fallen apart. 

From sobbing on the phone to both Ashlyn Korpak and Sarah Wordhouse in one night, to neglecting every single homework assignment, to feeling so incredibly frustrated that people just won’t check their stupid emails, I have not exactly been the most relaxed this week. 

I’ve looked at my overflowing calendar, my overflowing plate, my overflowing arms too many times this week and have failed to come up with a reason as to why I’m doing this. A reason why I decided to take on all of this work—why I decided to apply for editor those years ago. 

As I’ve slowly crumbled this week (and honestly these past few months), I have lost sight of why I was once so passionate about writing, telling these stories, being in this class and this room beginning when I was just 14.

I have since lost sight of my drive, my goals, my ambitions. And it’s a sinking feeling—a very jaded realization. 

When I’m at my lowest of lows, cut by the jagged edges of the pieces that I continue to let slip, I always somehow find myself in this dreamland of sorts—a coping mechanism, honestly. I have not yet decided if it’s healthy or not. 

Sometimes it’s images of my sophomore year in the room, surrounded by the small staff, united by a love for words and too many tears shed. Sometimes it’s images of my junior year in the room, eyes lit up by the reflections of the Christmas lights and the bright promise of a future in journalism—a future as Editor. And other times, it’s images of my freshman year in the room, completely oblivious to the impact that it would have on me in the years to come. 

This dreamland always includes the people. 

The people—staff—is the reason why I continued, the reason why I stayed, the reason why I take on all these stories every week despite having a negative amount of time to complete it all. 

Every year staff is so different, yet the one element that never wavers is the love—the bonds that form only in a room as unique as this one, doing something every single day as rewarding and exhausting as writing. 

This year is no different.

This week, especially, as I have rubbed my dry, bloodshot eyes—literally screaming for me to take off my mascara before bed—in utter exhaustion, as I have thrown my head back in frustration, as I have spun around in my chair a few too many times avoiding the millions of tabs I have open, I have had the unwavering support and love of this year’s staff.

You guys are why I write. You guys are why I’m here. You guys are why I haven’t completely crumbled yet. 

Emma and Nat, thank you for just listening to my seemingly never-ending grievances this week and validating every single complaint. Thank you for offering your help and your time and your support. Thank you for being so on top of things even when the Editor who is supposed to be on top of things sitting right beside you, quite frankly, isn’t. 

Veronica and Allie, thank you for working so hard on the social media platforms and ensuring that we reach record-breaking views every single day. I see your hard work, and I know it’s so hard sometimes, but keep pushing—social media girls, Emma, Veronica, and Allie, you are the reasons why so many people read all of the stories we work so hard on, so thank you for doing such a difficult job with grace and diligence and passion. 

Soph and Lydia, thank you for laughing at the things I say in class and thank you for being the literal backbone of all our photo galleries. You guys work so hard, and they always turn out so well, and I’m so thankful that TCT has grown so much to the point where we have two outstanding photographers for the site. 

Savannah and Avery, reading your columns and reviews every single week, seeing your growth as writers, is the reason why I write. Savannah, your columns are breathtaking (and so is your hair), and I love reading them. And Avery, I also love reading your work, but I love even more reading your hilarious texts in the group chat. They make me smile and laugh despite it all. 

Linus and Kels, thank you for your hard work on every single series and for being some of the most gifted writers and caring people. I’m sad that we aren’t all in the room together anymore, but the love I feel from you guys every day has not faded, and I’m so thankful for your diligence with every series and your push for every single story within them to be the best they can be. 

Lauren, thank you for visiting the room after school every single day for those few weeks that we were all in school to check-in, and for your amazing columns and poems, and for your diligence with your features. Even though you’re not in the room during the hour, your hard work does not go unnoticed by me ever, and I’m so lucky to be able to read your work every week—your poems and columns truly are the highlight of my week sometimes. 

And Lynlee, I don’t want to say too much, for it would give away my entire Countless Thanks to you, but I don’t know what I would do without you. You really put up with me most of all, you pick up the pieces, you heal my wounds, and you just welcome me with open arms, always. We made it here together, and I write for our freshman selves who had no idea what would come in the next four years. 

You guys are why I write. You guys are why I’m here. You guys are why I haven’t completely crumbled yet.