Letters+to+the+underclassmen+and+seniors

Kristine Brown

Letters to the underclassmen and seniors

June 1, 2023

Letter to the underclassmen

Dear TPT underclassmen,

Hi guys. Welcome to the end of the year. This last month can only be defined by four-hour-long classes, standardized testing and the heart-breaking sorrow of your absolute favorite people, us, graduating. We know this has been on of those years, what with administration changes, new equipment and all of us just trying to figure stuff out.

Firstly, we just wanted to say thank you for being the most wonderful group of writers, editors and people. We know this year was chaotic as everyone figured out just how journalism works and what an Oxford comma is, but each one of you pulled your weight, wrote some absolutely banger articles and we can confidently say that our publication has never looked better (yes, we know this was a run-on sentence).

We were most impressed by the improvement we say from you, even early in the year. Nobody is great at anything on the first try, but you all became amazing with all the hard work you put in throughout the year. From opinions to sports to features, you excelled in ever section.

And as great as you guys are, here’s some advice we want to impart to you. Our valuable wisdom has been collected over years spent pitching articles, saying we’ll “have our graphic today” instead of at the beginning of class and eating lunch together, so enjoy:

It’s hard to get into a topic that you’re not super interested in, but you all did well when we asked you to take on an article. Although some topics or sections might be more comfortable than others, start embracing the uncomfortable (like sports). You might find that you have more pride in an article you’ve worked harder on than an easy go-to idea. You won’t know your capabilities unless you push yourself.

Interview different people, too. It’s definitely easier to find a friend who might know a bit about that topic, but the best info usually comes from complete strangers. Phone a friend to phone a friend to phone another friend to find that expert opinion. Yes, it’s scary (stranger danger), but it’s completely worth it in the end when your articles comes out even better than before.

On the topic of interviewing, we’re sure you all know how much better it is when you bring a friend with you. So, make connections in the class, find some friends to be your wing-people when you interview and be a wing-person for them. Once you form those connections, interviewing starts to become much easier.

But branching out is not necessarily always easy—and when the going gets tough, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your friends, other writers, editors and even teachers, daunting as it may be to reach out to them, are more than willing to spend some extra time with you to solve whatever issues you encounter. After all, even though we know you are all awesome writers, sometimes even the best cannot do everything on their own.

All in all, don’t be afraid. We’re sure you’ve heard that before, but it’s so true. Don’t let the fear of embarrassing yourself or messing up hinder your ability to do what you want to do.

At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you to take this advice or leave it; and while we hope you take it, we know that we’re leaving TPT in the best hands/metaphorical pencils. We’re so excited to see where you take The Purple Tide, and if you guys get enough Best of SNOs next year, maybe we’ll even visit (no pressure). Kidding, please just don’t run the newspaper into the ground. Even if you do, we’ll be back next year to infringe on your Food Fridays.

In the words of The Purple Tide 2023 seniors, be passionate, BeReal and always be remembering to upload your graphics to Google Drive. Make us proud, guys.

Sincerely,

The TPT Seniors 💜

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Letter to the seniors

Dear seniors,

The end.

It’s probably not a phrase you ever expected to see at the beginning of a piece, but you’re here! You’ve reached it! You’re all off to new places, off to go learn new things, off to meet new people. Whether you’ve been on staff for three years or joined us this year, you have all been valuable members of The Purple Tide. We mean this literally, considering you all are 14 out of our 30 staff members. No, but really, you seniors have imparted so much wisdom upon us lowly underclassmen. Even looking at the way you all carried yourselves with such confidence and conviction has inspired us in our own journeys throughout high school. It’s truly been a wonderful year—journalism classes can be stressful, but among the hard deadlines, InDesign struggles and intimidating distributions, moments like joint journeys for cafeteria interviews, discussions about “Midnights” and debates over our article titles made us closer. We have so much we’re going to miss you all for, so much to thank you all for. As we roll the credits of your high school experience, let’s reflect on the impression you’ve left on us.

Mahika, you are our resident fashion icon—we don’t think we’ve ever seen you in an outfit we haven’t absolutely loved. The way you manage to talk about typically boring and dry topics with such passion is commendable and it’ll do you well in your future law endeavors. Your extensive list of admirable traits made you a fantastic editor-in-chief. The little insightful comments you sprinkle in with the edits you leave don’t go to waste, and you have made the staff better writers because of it. Thank you for being a cultural firebrand and always carrying this enviable air of timeless confidence and grace, regardless of the situation or circumstance.

Katelyn, you are an InDesign wizard. It’s clear we’re a priority of yours and for that, we are so grateful. Your precise organization bled through your work into that of the staff. Not only are you casually funny with some of the comments you make in conversation, but you’re also casually a genius in practically every subject. On top of that, you have brains AND brawns—balancing multiple AP classes and varsity softball is an unfathomable feat for most, and subsequently, this is a clear sign of your superhuman-ness. Thank you for being so involved in so many areas of our paper, and yet still always has time to keep the staff moving.

Cassie, you have this unshakable positivity and enthusiasm that seems to radiate off of you. Even when you have bad days, that warm light that you emit fills room 228 and makes us all smile. Your ever-present goofy attitude is contagious and you never fail to brighten someone’s day just by being in fifth period with us, forming your own unshakeable rizz. You have this endless patience that makes you so approachable for edits and questions. Thank you for being able to turn what may have started as a sort of scary experience into one that we can learn from—you made us brave.

Roshni, stop being so incredibly talented at art—leave some talent for the rest of us. Your work is so distinct and that’s translated to some amazing designs in the magazine. You’re dependable for great advice, whether it be about what classes we should take or what books we might like. Your outfits are always compliment-worthy and you have great music taste. Thank you for always being so kind, helpful to us all and open to listening to our plights—we don’t express our gratitude enough. 

Shreya, you’ve been a great mentor for us all. From answering questions about designing pages, coming up with sports angles, structuring articles or choosing classes for next year, you’re always there as a helpful figure in the class. Your shopping conundrums are always very entertaining, whether it be your Hollister employee adventures or your prom dress color choice struggles (after everything, it was black, which isn’t even a color, technically). Thank you for guiding us on the mysterious realm of SAT practice and showing us that you can survive off coffee at the round table; we’ll take this knowledge and wield it wisely.

Sid, you’re a wonderful teacher. You were a great guide for all the underclassmen, and were always open to questions when the class asked for your help. Your famous walk into the room—always a couple minutes after the bell—will be remembered, with you constantly pulling up with different college merch each class (you say you have two pieces of Hopkins apparel, but that can’t be right) and carrying a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino in your hand. Thank you for being supportive and insightful throughout your two years on staff.

Gayatri, without you, we probably wouldn’t have had a newsmagazine new year. You’ve kept us financially afloat—you’re so good at your job, and it’s obvious from your ridiculously impressive ability to do complicated calculations super fast and your eloquence in speaking. You also have great taste in books and outfits; you always show up with such coordinated and colorful pieces. Thank you for making the class a great environment to be in with your conversation, friendly and gentle presence.

Brianna, by a general consensus, you are officially the undisputed rizzler of the journalism class. Your ability to talk to anyone, no matter who, and dissolve any tension with laughter (and, of course, crying) is incredible. Your way with words is dazzling and we look forward to seeing your name in the bookstores. We know you’ll succeed exponentially anywhere and everywhere you go. Thank you for always standing your ground on the myriad of opinions you have and telling us about all your interests, whether it be about Avatar or a certain Instagram account.

Paria, one day you’re going to predict the future and the only person that’s going to be ready for it is you. You’re incredibly passionate and empathetic about all you do—almost every topic you’ve written about has brought light to topics we didn’t even know about, but we’re so glad we learned about them from you. Also, your hair was consistently gorgeous. Thank you for your endless zodiac knowledge and your kindness toward all of us; you were a beacon of light in our class.

Rachel, you are such an amazing writer, and have always had great execution for your articles. Whether your article was about BopDrop or Food for Neighbors, the effort you put in was always noticed. Your presence in the classroom has taken numerous forms, whether it be as a math genius,  a budding Marvel fan or just a great conversationalist. Thank you for the advice that you’ve offered to our burgeoning writers, which has helped create some amazing pieces of writing. 

Gowri, you’re the realest real one that never fails. Your undying support of cafeteria cookies has kept the lunch line in business and now makes us crave them everyday. You’re an incredibly kind person that also has so much resolve in all you do; you’ve always worked hard on your articles and you carry yourself with so much poise. Thank you for always helping us stay on topic in class and bringing us back to reality when we’re distracted. 

Megan, you are an absolute headline queen. Your alliteration prowess and overall creativity has not only made you an amazing writer, but also a very helpful staff member who improved many of our articles. Your knowledge of and passion for theater has been super helpful when writing articles on the drama department’s performances, especially for those of us who basically know nothing about the stage. Thank you for being such a kind person who is always fun to talk to and improves the vibe of the class so much. 

Shreeja, you have built bridges between the staff not only through your team-building activities, but also through your thoughtful personality. You always help us underclassmen, whether it be through adventures gathering interviews or hunting down teachers that never responded to our emails. You’re so fun to brainstorm ideas with and you’re down for all sorts of potentially deranged topics, which is very cool of you. Thank you for creating a welcoming environment in journalism with your cheerful disposition and bright smile.

Sixuan, just like the award you were given, you go above and beyond in everything you do. You’re always so hardworking, and even when things don’t go your way, you overcome the obstacles in your path. Your struggles with calculus and choosing a prom dress have been very relatable. You’re a star, always so bright and positive in everything you do, and we’ll miss your energy in our class. Thank you for being so put together and keeping all of us on schedule in everything you do, while still being so innovative and easy to talk to.

Room 228 is going to be more than a bit empty when you all leave—we’ll miss all of you so much (the only upside to all of you leaving is the fact that we’ll be able to walk around the classroom; finally, no one will be stuck in that one seat in the middle where it’s impossible to escape). As the matriarchy—plus Sid—is usurped by a younger, greener editorial board, we’ll do our best to remember all that you have taught us, the tales that have woven the tangled patchwork of our class. We’ll carry on your torch. When you’re even older, even wiser, remember us: those freshmen, sophomores and juniors that you knew once upon a time.

Sincerely,

TPT Underclassmen 💜

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