I’m working on it: The final message

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Photo by Kiana Kamalu

So, as I say my goodbyes, I thought I'd leave you with a smile on your face. Here are some of my favorite blooper pictures I've taken for the column and a video of our year as student journalists. Enjoy!

Ka Leo o Na Koa

By Amanda Lee, News co-editor

Dear Reader,

The time has come for me to write to you for the last time as a high school journalist. Looking back, this has been an interesting year, full of new experiences, new friends, and new lessons learned. It has been a year of growth and discovery, and I’m glad to have shared everything with you over the course of these past two years.

It’s hard to believe that in two and a half months I’ll be in a different state, in a different city, in a different room surrounded by new people. I had dreamed of this time in my life for as long as I can remember, but now that it’s here, I find myself wanting to go back and hide myself away from the world. I find myself wanting to linger.

I’m going to miss so many things. I’m going to miss the familiarity of the school, all of the friends I’ve made over the years, and all of the teachers who have taught me everything I know. At school, they say that we are all a family, but I don’t think it ever really sunk in until now. I think of everyone as an extension of me. I worry about my classmates and I want them to succeed in everything they do. I care about them in the same way that I care about my siblings.

The teachers at this school have become more than instructors to me, they’re like my “school parents/aunties/uncles.” They’ve kept me laughing, handed me tissue after tissue whenever I freaked out, welcomed me into their hearts, and took me under their wings. They supported me and helped me achieve everything I have ever wanted to get out of life.

I can’t believe it’s all over. It’s so strange to think that I won’t be here next year, picking out a locker and getting lost in the halls trying to find my classes. Four years ago, I was a twiggy little freshman who was afraid and intimidated by the high school, who couldn’t muster up the courage to go inside the building before class, let alone raise her hand in class. Now look at me, I’m writing all of my personal thoughts and feelings to you here on this column. How the times have changed me…

Before I leave though, I want to leave some wisdom from the wise experienced one (this being me). I could tell you all sorts of things, stereotypical things, things like how you shouldn’t procrastinate, how you should always be honest, proud, and humble. I could tell you all those things, but people told me those things, and I didn’t figure out how important those lessons were until I learned them on my own. So, I’ll spare you those clichés because I know you’re going to procrastinate (this column is actually late, so maybe I didn’t totally learn my lesson), but,  you’ll figure out how to manage all of those things on your own.

I want to leave something original behind for all of you to take away. The most profound thing that I’ve learned throughout high school that has left an impact on me is this: you can always find your way back home.

For me, high school was about change. It was about trying new things to figure out who I am. It was about taking risks, branching out, and re-inventing myself over and over until I figured out what I wanted to be. I think that this is something that everyone goes through.

Perhaps on some level we have some idea of who we are, we know what our name is and what our favorite color is, but we are searching for some sort of greater understanding of who we are and what we want to be. I have found that the perfect place to do this is high school.

While you’re trying to figure out the complexity that is you, you’ll get lost, stuck in places that you didn’t want to be in, and with people you realize you don’t like. Sometimes, you lose sight of who you really are because you’re trying so hard to be something/ someone else. But, there’s no need to worry. No matter what happens to you, no matter where you are, you will always be able to find your way back home, back to who you really are.

I hope that helps, and makes you not so scared of embarking on this journey of self-discovery. High school should be fun, so please, don’t waste it hiding away in the shadows. Find your spotlight, and show people how beautiful you are.

Thank you so much for everything you have all given me, your compassion, teachings, kindness, and memories will be with me forever. You are all a part of me and very dear to my heart.  I will miss you all more than words could possibly explain.

Until we meet again, this is Amanda Lee reporting for Ka Leo O Nā Koa for the last time.

Good luck and good-bye.