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The Purbalite

The student news site of Baldwin High School

The Purbalite

The student news site of Baldwin High School

The Purbalite

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Senior Farewell: Newspaper turned me into a leader

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Image by Purbalite staff
Purbalite seniors evaluate their four years of high school at Baldwin.

As I look back on going from being an antisocial freshman to a student journalist, I have found that joining the Purbalite staff jump-started my involvement in extracurricular activities and leadership roles. 

Throughout my childhood, I never imagined myself eventually becoming a driving or leading force for any organization. I was not an outspoken or social child growing up – that was my twin brother, Tom, who was known for his intelligence, confidence in public speaking, and overall leadership qualities. 

For a while growing up, I was fine being a follower. I could stay in my comfort zone, keep to myself, and overall not be the center of attention. 

It was not until I reached my freshman year of high school that I knew I would have to outgrow such a mindset to achieve success. Everything about gaining opportunities in school organizations and networking revolves around communication, and adhering to my timid persona would not lead me to these opportunities. 

So I signed up for the course that would require the most human interaction I would experience in that Covid-challenged year, the Newspaper class. When I added the course to my schedule, I completely disregarded the fact that conducting interviews is a key requirement for constructing a story. 

To say I was not thrilled to find this out was an understatement. I could not even maintain eye contact with a teacher, let alone interview students I don’t know. 

However, to have success in the class, I knew it was a barrier I had to overcome. 

As I started conducting interviews, I realized that such interactions are relatively quick and informal, which eased my anxiety and helped me through that course. Having experienced such character development from that course led me to continue on with the school newspaper for the rest of my high school career. Later, when I earned a leadership position in the newspaper, I saw that it was possible for me to also lead other clubs and organizations both inside and outside of school.

The old me, timid and meek, would not believe the leadership roles I have taken on throughout high school. 

I can confidently say that I have stepped beyond my comfort zone in the many different endeavors I pursued throughout high school. That freshman version of me would be very proud. 

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About the Contributor
Tumi Ojo
Tumi Ojo, Entertainment Editor
Entertainment Editor Tumi Ojo is a senior and a fourth-year member of the Purbalite. She can be found talking with friends, drawing, listening to music, or napping.
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