I remember when

Decision to join newspaper made lasting impact


Story by TJ Wall, Sports Editor

I remember my first day of high school. I remember coming in nervous, not really sure what to expect. I remember thinking that graduation was far in the future and that it would be a long time before I had to go to college. I remember all of these things as if they were just a few weeks ago.

I also remember the moment during my freshman year when I realized that I was not a part of any extracurricular activities. I remember a group of students who were a part of the school newspaper staff coming into my class trying to recruit new members for the next year. I remember, at that moment, something inside of me whispering, telling me that I needed to seize every opportunity I had to be a part of something and to make memories along the way. 

I remember the moment when I decided to apply to be a part of the newspaper staff. I remember the first time I entered room 50B. I remember going through the interview process. I remember receiving an envelope that said that I’d been accepted as a part of the TigerTimes staff. 

I remember the first story I ever wrote back in August of 2017; that story, along with almost all of the others during my first year on staff, was about football. I remember the excitement I felt the first time a story of mine was published online. I remember the sense of pride I had as a result of contributing to a nationally recognized, award-winning high school newspaper; it became a part of my identity.

I remember writing my first football game in the press box; I was in over my head, I was stressed, I was scared out of my mind that I would mess up, but I loved every second of it. I remember all of the times after that when I had the opportunity to write those games in the press box. I remember envisioning my future career as a sports writer. I remember the joy it brought me to be able to contribute to something meaningful while doing something I love so much: watching football. 

I remember making good friends along the way. I remember being selected as a sports editor alongside my friend John Morgan; that year was my favorite of my three years in newspaper. I remember the sadness I felt when he, and multiple other seniors who were on staff such as Joseph Rodgers and Victoria Van, graduated and went away.

I remember the beginning of this year; it didn’t feel quite the same as the other years. Knowing that this was my last year was a tough pill to swallow. It wasn’t as fun. It didn’t feel the same because I knew that every story I wrote was one story closer to my last.

Now, here we are: my last story to be published as a member of TigerTimes’ staff. It hurts. It really hurts. It feels as if a part of me is being ripped away. However, I am sure that these moments in my life are things I will always cherish. 

I remember making the decision to join newspaper, and it changed my high school years for the better. I may not have been the perfect writer, I may have gotten griped at multiple times, I may have gotten on Mrs. Potter and Mr. Smith’s nerves, I may have been stressed out of my mind more than a few nights, but even so, those were the highlights of my last four years. And on those days when I miss those people, those moments, those memories, I can always look back and say, “I remember when.”