Hard Work Pays Off
Most students stay at school for eight hours a day or eleven hours if they are involved in a sport or school related activity, but the longest I have stayed has been nineteen hours. Yearbook has been a major part of my academic career since middle school when I had to apply to get onto the staff at my private middle school. There, the yearbook was the surprise at the end of the year that everyone anticipated and raved about while also regarding the yearbook staff as creative historians that published the school year in less than one hundred pages. Once I got to high school, I was ecstatic to join the big kids and start doing real interviews with people that I had never met before and discover intriguing stories about my peers and new school. To my surprise, the high school yearbook staff was drastically different from my middle school one. In high school, the student population had no idea who was on the staff and saw the yearbook as an item only seniors bought to remember their last days as a student, and the class required a great deal of work and effort that I was not used to. On top of that, the staff was set up as a hierarchy, and I was at the very bottom.
During first semester of my freshman year, I was disappointed in how being on the yearbook staff was not as fulfilling as I thought it would be for all the amount of work I put in. I would stay after school to finish my pages, yet the next day when I came to class, my page would be given back to me completely ridden with red marks and comments about what was wrong with my layout, copy, and captions. I swore to myself that at the end of the year, I would end my literary career sadly as just another member of the Legend Staff that would soon be forgotten as the year moved on.
Second semester, however, deadlines were soon approaching and more staff members began staying later on Fridays to finish the book on time. As the weeks passed by, I became part of the group of dedicated staff members that stayed later and later on Friday nights, and, eventually, we started staying until two o’clock in the morning to make minor corrections and to perfect the pages as best we could. Slowly, I gained more responsibility and trust from the editorsand became more than just an amateur who needed directions every step of the way. Towards the end of the year, the thought of quitting was still prevalent. It festered in my mind how those Friday nights were difficult and exhausting, yet they made me feel accomplished.
I decided to remain on the staff for my sophomore andjunior years despite protests from my parents calling the class a waste of my time, since I would be doing the same things again. They did have a valid point. Taking yearbook again did not involve any new techniques that I had not learned already; however, each year was completely different from the last. With each year, I gained more leadership and responsibility within the staff; learned organizational techniques for meeting tight deadlines; created, managed, and worked with people with different learning styles; and stayed determined.
Now, I have reached the coveted title of co-editor-in-chief after investing seven years of hard work and creative thinking. Going with my instinct to stay on the staff proved to be beneficial because of the leadership skills, open-mindedness, and ability to work with people that I have attained throughout the years. Although senior year is not over yet and the yearbook is not completed, I am excited for the challenge awaiting that will test my determination one more time before I face the next major challenge in my life, being independent and going to college.