The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


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Max’s senior column: Thriving in chaos

Ellen Zhang

Going into high school, I didn’t know what to expect. With all the new people, clubs and opportunities around, I had no clue who I would become. Regardless, there was one thing I knew for certain: I loved math. It’s always been my favorite subject growing up, and I couldn’t imagine anything changing that, not even a global pandemic that would prevent me from physically attending school for over a year. Math was my jam.

So then what exactly am I doing here, writing for the school newspaper?

If you had told me 4 years ago that I would join Stargazer to create video news content, it wouldn’t have been the most outlandish thing to me. If you had told me I would’ve also taken photos, become part of the editorial staff, and even written articles in my free time, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m not a writer, and have never been big on school events, but I cannot deny that I’ve enjoyed all of the hours I spent interviewing people about their passions, formatting articles, and most definitely, filming and editing videos covering school events.

I still remember how I “joined” stargazer my junior year. I put that in quotes because I maybe attended half a dozen meetings that year, and would take video news assignments only when the club advisor messaged me asking me to. After over half a dozen video news pieces and a state finish, I figured I should probably start showing up to some of the meetings. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous when I first started attending meetings in the last few weeks of that year, afraid that I’d be seen as an outsider trying to join an already tight-knit community. I was completely wrong. Everyone was very welcoming, genuine, and overall kind, and by the second or third week I had felt like I had been there all year. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of such a hardworking, dedicated group of people that’s able to laugh together over the most random things, but also support each other unconditionally. No school in the state is louder than us when it comes to cheering on each other.

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Chaos theory is a mathematical concept that describes certain systems that appear random in nature and will have a drastically different outcome with every slight input change. In other words, it’s the mathematical way to describe the butterfly effect. The pandemic was by no means a small change for anyone, but for me, it was fully responsible for shaping who I am today. My passion for filmmaking flourished in my basement during the pandemic, and with the overwhelming support from my middle school friends (some of which I may not have kept in contact with if not for the pandemic), by my Junior year I was passionate enough to try making videos for the school newspaper when offered. I honestly believe that if the pandemic never happened, or if it happened at any different time than it did, I would’ve never been interested enough in filmmaking to join Stargazer. 

I think the biggest thing that Stargazer taught me is that you don’t have to be just “one person”. Don’t get me wrong- I never lost my passion for math and it’s still my favorite subject. However, Stargazer showed me that it doesn’t have to be the only subject I like. I can be a filmmaker, a photographer, a musician, and pretty much anything else I wanted to be, all at the same time. So many events you can’t control immensely impact your life, and the slightest change or even hesitation can drastically change it at times, but that’s just how it goes. You’re only given one, but you can always thrive in it no matter where it may take you, despite the chaos.

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About the Contributor
Max Fang
Max Fang, Video News Editor
Max is a senior, and this is his second year on staff. This year Max is serving as our Video News Editor. Max engages in student journalism because it keeps him connected with what's going on at North and allows him to pursue a passion for video making.

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