Letter to the underclassmen

TPT seniors

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.


The TPT Seniors ?