A Project for Better Journalism chapter

If you never ask, you’ll never know

I’ve sort of been on the Lions’ Roar staff for three years.

Sort of? Yeah, sort of. Thanks to my tendency to make class scheduling difficult I ended up in French 3 Honors instead of Newspaper for junior year. However, journalism has been my passion for many years and I intend to study it at CU-Boulder this fall, so to not be on staff after having invested so much in it over sophomore year would be a major letdown. Naturally, I tried to work the system, and it paid off. By coming in during my off hour to catch up on the goings-on, as well as do my work as copy editor, I stayed involved in the newspaper. Come senior year, I got the position of design editor, and it was like I had never left. All I needed to do was ask sophomore year and it happened.

That’s the one thing I’ve learned more than anything else in high school (sorry, IB, the biggest thing you taught me was to question everything) : ask if it’s possible. The worst that can happen is “no”. The best that can happen is everything you could want.

I’ve gotten more than a handful of those “no” responses, by the way. Often the “no” comes from circumstances no one can change. Finances, life’s natural complications and organizational conflicts can all conspire against our desires, and that’s nobody’s fault per se; it’s just a fact of life. Other times, the “no” comes because someone else is better than you. That’s weird to think sometimes, especially when we take advanced classes and do every activity under the sun, but that’s a fact of life too.

However, for all the “no” I’ve been dealt, I’ve received so much more “yes.” When it looked like I wouldn’t have room to take a Phys Ed class in addition to all the classes I wanted for senior year, I worked with my counselors and the LHS admin to take Phys Ed online over the summer. Given a full schedule for senior year, I asked myself at the beginning if I would be able to handle it, and I’ve received a solid “yes ma’am” in return.

Perhaps the most amazing outcome of questioning the possibilities occurred for my IB Extended Essay. In the course of researching I emailed many people asking questions about my topic and I got decent responses from many. However, in lieu of an email interview, the Committee to Protect Journalists provided someone for me to speak with over the phone, surpassing my expectations by a long shot.

That was a fantastic experience for me, but getting a “yes” is not exclusive to those circumstances. Maybe it’s trying out for that sports team, or applying for an internship or job, or even asking a big favor of a friend. When the opening arises and you are given the opportunity to advocate for yourself and your goals by asking if something is possible, there is almost never a harm in giving it a try.

With that, I am signing off from the Lions’ Roar, leaving LHS in pursuit of the rest of my life, and will constantly be asking if that next thing is possible. Wish me luck.