Jei’s Senior Column: Subverting Expectations

Jei Jandura, Features Editor

My freshman year I had all these guesses about what my senior year would look like. I thought I would be an athlete, but I quit doing sports after my freshman year. I thought I would be alone now that my friends and I were going to different schools. I have an incredible group of friends who never fail to bring joy to my life every single day. I predicted that I would go to school to be a music teacher; I may be a musician and I will be a teacher, but music teacher is not the path for me. My time in high school has been all about subverting my own expectations as to how my life was going to go. Possibly the biggest shocker to me was that I became the features editor for Stargazer, and that I won a few awards during my short time here.

I joined Stargazer completely on a whim. I had no plans for my junior year and so I thought “well this club is meeting, I might as well check it out.” I thought I would pop in and decide that journalism just wasn’t for me. Needless to say, I was completely wrong. Stargazer has provided me with so much joy despite the fact that I’ve only been part of it for two years. I have made so many friends during my time as both a staff writer and the features editor. I’ve loved writing everything from reviews on new albums, to interviewing a state senator to talk about mental health, to being the editor of the incredible Magen in the Halls series. 

Even after I started getting into the groove of Stargazer, I didn’t expect to achieve as much as I have during these past two years. Both times I went to state were so much fun and provided me with memories that will last the rest of my life. Being the features editor has been so awesome, and I’ve loved seeing the work that other people have created. Attending the NISPA conference was some of the most fun I’ve ever had, and seeing the joy on everyone’s faces whenever we won something was so uplifting. Stargazer started off as just a club that I would go to once a week, but, as sappy as it sounds, it eventually became a place where I could truly express myself and for that I will forever be grateful.

Being a writer was never really part of my plan. During middle school I was never really a fan of English. It felt so boring. I didn’t enjoy the books, I hated the papers, it just wasn’t for me. It started getting better once I reached high school, but I still wouldn’t have called myself an English fan. It took me a while, but I did eventually find the type of writing that worked for me: journalism. I found so much joy in informing people about certain topics and talking all about my opinions on albums and movies. It became my outlet. 

Being a history teacher was definitely not part of my plan. I really liked history, don’t get me wrong, but I never really thought about teaching it. Music was my number one passion in life, and I thought that I would be teaching band for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I took APUSH my junior year that I even thought about teaching history (thanks again, Mr. J). My time at North helped me find so many new passions with history probably being the biggest one. I started reading biographies, which I thought were super boring just a few years prior; I started annoying my friends and family with history facts instead of video game trivia. 

I have grown so much over my time here at North, and while I haven’t enjoyed every moment of it, I am thankful for every second. The path I have taken here at North, and the one I plan to take after I graduate, is so different from what I expected back when I was a freshman, and I am so thrilled that that is the case. I have become way more confident in myself, and I am truly excited for whatever the future holds. I have so many guesses as to how my college and professional life will go. I can’t wait to prove myself wrong.