From an adviser to his seniors

Drew Timmons, Adviser

The end of the school year is always a little weird. Most of my time is preoccupied with sleeping in, keeping my ties untied in my closet and catching up on the books, movies and TV that I missed during the year.

Yet there’s always a part of me that gets emotional because I realize that another year has passed, and with that, another group of students has come and gone.

This year, the feeling is particularly strong because of The Prowl staff. At its best, it’s more than a group of people put in a room together thanks to the miracle of school scheduling. It becomes – and please, pardon this cliché – a family.

We get on each other’s nerves, we argue and we debate; we have inside jokes and not-so-inside jokes; we make each other laugh and smile, but thankfully — this semester, at least — not cry.

Not every underclassmen is returning next year, and that is for a variety of reasons. Not everyone ends up enjoying interviewing, writing and revising on a continual loop. Not everyone has room in their schedule. Not everyone wants to listen to my jokes again. Sadly, I get it.

I am particularly verklempt, though, as I think about those who I’m losing not to other classes or to scheduling concerns. This year, I’m emotional because this group of seniors that I’m losing is truly remarkable.

I’m already thinking about what will be different next year.

Next year, I won’t be able to argue about feminism with Ellis or complain about his breakfast food.

Next year, I won’t be able to talk about the newest Reddit posts with Mark or get upset when he hasn’t turned his work in on time or at all.

Next year, I won’t be able to roll my eyes when Reagan says something silly or marvel when she shows me something on Photoshop I didn’t know was possible.

Next year, I won’t be able to hear Cheyenne exasperatedly scream, “Timmons!” when I admit I know nothing important about students’ personal lives or feel excited when she turns in an opinion piece about something that truly matters such as minority representation in children’s books.

This group of seniors has provided me with more laughs and caused me more positive frustration than any group of students I’ve known. (What is “positive frustration,” you ask? Refer to earlier and my arguments about feminism with Ellis.)

I will miss them terribly, but I am incredibly proud of what they have accomplished. They were leaders in times of transition from this newspaper. In a four-month span, they changed editorship and publication type, and they did so fluidly.

How lucky am I?

Cheyenne, Reagan, Mark and Ellis: You are each talented, intelligent and thoughtful individuals, and I feel that way even when you would rather put on a pair of headphones than actually do any of the work I want you to do.

Thankfully, it feels like you four have felt comfortable, safe and secure in my classroom and with me this year (for most of you, even longer than that).

As you are enter a period of your life that, if you can believe it, may feel even more uncertain and more chaotic than the four years you just experienced, I hope and wish and pray that you find  that same comfort, safety and security as well as more success and happiness than you can imagine.

Thank you for letting me be your adviser and your teacher. I’ll leave you, then, with the best advice given by any fictional high school teacher ever, the only advice I think anyone should ever need:

Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.