by Tom Weimer, ’18
Columnist reflects on being one of two sophomores on the Arlingtonian staff
Towards the end of my freshman year, I started hearing on the announcements that Arlingtonian was in need of photographers, but it was the final stretch when teachers drown you in work, and I was too intimidated by the references, portfolio and interview needed to pursue it at any length.
However, one of my friends soon asked me if I was going to apply; she was going to and wanted to know ahead of time if she would know any of the staff. Without this extra push, I might never have applied, and I would have missed an incredible opportunity to meet new people and live outside of my comfort zone.
Ironically, my friend ended up not doing it and I went into Arlingtonian camp last summer not knowing anyone well or what to expect. Over the next days, weeks and months, I came to know one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of. While in most classroom settings, learning is ultimately a personal decision and does not affect the class on a larger scale, being part of Arlingtonian has shown me the power of having a common goal. In order for a group of high schoolers to publish a print magazine every month, everyone must be organized, focused and cooperative. Being only one of two sophomores in the class, I really had to push myself as not to be the weak link.
For instance, during a brainstorming meeting for an issue’s contents, the staff was asked who would be willing to write the spotlight, the biggest story in the issue. After only one person volunteered to step up for the two-man job, out of nowhere my pretentious alter ego Hunger Game’d myself and soon I was saddled with a four-page investivative article, sans any journalistic training. After becoming a junior’s protÃ©gÃ©, I was eased into the writing side of journalism. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed it a lot more than just the visual side.
Looking back, I’m so glad that I tried something new and challenged myself. Instead of sitting stagnant in a study hall for 48 minutes every day, I’ve collaborated with other creative minds, made new friends and challenged myself beyond what I thought I could do. In addition, I’m ecastatic to be next year’s Features Editor; I get to move to the writing staff from art staff.
While my experience as a photographer wasn’t the adventure that I expected, it gave me a sense of community as well as leading the way to another opportunity. Regardless, I’m glad to be a part of something; that’s what high school is about. Whether you like sports, video games, or ping pong, there’s a place where people share your passions. You just have to experiment and find out what makes you happy by trying new things. No one but yourself can make sure you take chances.