By Karlie Mathias, Editor in Chief
Senior year is thinking about your future; it’s applying for college, scholarships, financial aid, and a job because you’ve just realized that in a handful of months, you’re going to have to buy your own shampoo; it’s senioritis and a sudden motivation deficit; it’s trying to make the most of your youth and being reckless because you only live once; it’s panic and excitement, indecision and poor decisions; and—amongst all the chaos—it's being a leader.
If you’re anything like me, being a leader seems almost like a joke. Sometimes, I want to ask why I’ve been asked to lead others when I’m pretty lost, myself. As of right now, being editor of The Mustang Post hasn’t been a particularly demanding job, because everyone is still learning the ropes and therefore, I have nothing to edit. However, since by some accident of fate I’ve been seated at a big desk in the corner of our new room and given a title, my job is now to write to our readers with whatever semblance of wisdom I can come up with...
You know the scene in the movie where our hero crumples a piece of paper and throws it toward the trash, and our vision pans over to the heap of similar failures lying rejected in the corner? He’s frustrated, uninspired, and close to the edge that is giving up. Well, in this scenario, I am the hero.
Maybe I want to paint myself in such a noble light, or maybe I just want to make clear that this editorial did not come to you as a first draft—or second, or tenth, for that matter. Should I begin with fondness for the past or hope for the future? Should I start with something funny, to draw my audience in, or leave it to you to decide whether my words are worth your time? I could write about me; I could write about us; I could write about life, and my obviously superior perspective on it. But does it matter? Either way, you’ll read me as a high school student—still learning, still so unaware of what is to come. Either way, this is my assignment, and you are my grader. Your mind will filter out the incorrect and take what you agree with as a measurement of my success. So, it is not my expectation that you agree with, or even remember my thoughts, but only that you listen. To me, that’s what makes journalism, and all art, so brave: we’re shouting into the void and hoping, just hoping, that someone will hear us.
My encouragement, today, is to do two things:
1.) Don’t shy away from your thoughts and opinions. Just because they’re yours does not make them wrong.
2.) Listen to others’ thoughts and opinions and maybe be flexible with your own. Just because they’re yours does not make them right.
Because ultimately, it does matter. And I promise you, someone is listening.
And to my fellow Sheyenne seniors, especially: use the new power-laden leadership position you’ve been unwittingly thrust into for good. Your words and advice don’t have to be especially radical or profound to have weight. They have weight because they’re coming from you, whether positive or negative. In the words of Lucas Eugene Scott, “Your art matters.”
The Mustang Post
All feature news content is produced by students in the Newspaper program at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.