Reviving a Club (Biopage Mini-Essay Writing Contest Entry)

During my high school career, I have been fortunate to achieve many of the goals I have set for myself. These goals have included scoring high on standardized tests and other academic achievements, and even achieving high positions in school clubs and functions. However, if someone asked me what I felt my greatest achievement was, I would have to tell them that it was when I almost single handedly saved my school newspaper. During my junior year of high school, I had decided that I should become more involved in school functions and activities in my high school and, with my love of journalism, joining the newspaper club seemed like a great way to do that. Almost immediately, I was worried by how informal the club was and how little the students paid attention during the first meeting, but I paid it no mind and began writing the two articles I was assigned, an interview of my English teacher and a sports article covering the most recent football game. I was very excited and proud of my work and gave it to the club’s sponsor before she said something that transformed my previous happiness into bitter disappointment. I was the only person in the entire club to write an article and the newspaper would be forced to miss its deadline because of it. After my disappointment faded, it was replaced with fury and determination. I was not going to allow the club that I felt had so much potential waste it, even if I had to create an entire school newspaper by myself. I began by writing several additional articles about current events in the school and borrowing the calendar from the principal to fill up enough newspaper pages to release it before October 30. However, I was quickly faced with my first problem; while designing the format of the school newspaper, I discovered that the articles were neither long nor numerous enough to fill the paper and that I would have to find additional items to insert. I hurriedly searched for a solution and found a small one when I read over the article where I interviewed the coach of the new soccer team. I would insert the entire year’s soccer schedule which would be interesting and informative to the readers and, most importantly, would take up space in the newspaper. Unfortunately, this was a temporary solution and there was still a lot of space to fill if I wanted the newspaper to look professional. After hours of brainstorming, I offhandedly thought how much easier it would have been if more people had written articles and how I could get them to do that. Then an idea appeared in my mind, what if English teachers offered extra credit to students who wrote articles in the paper? I asked the English teachers in my school if they agreed with this idea and, after they agreed, I wrote another article detailing how students could receive extra credit in the future. After writing this article I had another idea, what if I made more things that could fill up space in the future and write an article about them now explaining the idea? After thinking that, it was easy to write about ideas such as a monthly art contest where the winner would have their artwork displayed in the paper or the advice column where students turned in questions that I would later answer in the paper. Some of these ideas later became a staple of the paper, while some failed almost immediately afterwards, but they all achieved their purpose and I was able to finish editing the first edition of the school newspaper thanks to them. After fine tuning the newspaper, it was released on October 27 to the approval of both students and teachers. Many commented on how it was the best newspaper my school had seen in years, but I was not content with stopping there. I was officially made the chief editor soon after the first edition of the school newspaper was released, and I began to work towards my vision for the end of the year, changing the paper from a bimonthly four-pager to a monthly eight-pager, both things that previous chief editors had attempted to achieve in the past but were unable to accomplish. No month was as difficult as the first, but I never forgot how difficult it was to release a paper by myself and I began to get as many students that were already in the club as I could to get involved. Many left the club, not having expected to have to work when they first joined, but the few that stayed behind proved to be invaluable. There were hardships, and many setbacks, but after more new ideas, such as a puzzle page and advertisements, thrown in with lots of hard work, we were able to achieve our goals only two months after our first newspaper edition, to everyone’s shock. I hope that even when I graduate high school, the club will continue to prosper and, if it does not, I know that the lesson that nothing is impossible with enough hard work will live on with me and the other members forever.

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