22 Moments In Writing For Your High School Newspaper

Trials and triumphs in being the high school newspaper reporter.

1. Your first high school newspaper article was about a minor campus renovation. You found your name in the byline and felt like hot shit.

2. But your friends wouldn’t stop making fun of you for it.

3. You were suddenly one of the goody-two-shoes. The principal started saying hi to you in the hallways.

4. You set yourself to tackling the big injustices.

5. Your journalism teacher kept comparing publishing to childbirth. All the staffers started parroting her.

6. Sometimes a local reporter lectured your classes. Sometimes that reporter was your classmate’s dad.

7. You grew familiar with the house style for high school editorial cartoons.

8. Or maybe your staff cartoonist was way into anime.

9. Your friends were too embarrassed to appear on your paper.

10. You put them down as “anonymous sources” for the big steamy tell-all. Everyone figured out who they were.

11. When you investigated school drug culture, you thought you were Hunter S. Thompson.

12. This was a big issue too. Remember when no one slept in high school?

14. Your op-ed columns made sweeping, painfully earnest statements.

15. Once in a while, something serious happened at school. You were grateful of the adults for trusting you to cover it.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

16. The night before going to press, everyone stayed at school til 3AM and passed out there.

17. The editors’ whiteboard began to look like this.

18. After printing 200 copies, you noticed too late that you forgot to swap out a temp placeholder title.

19. Maybe you wrote something that pissed off parents and teachers. You learned that adults were ready to throw down with you.

20. At your staff retreat, you shared a hotel room with everyone. You learned that your sports writer ground his teeth, that your editor muttered filth in her sleep.

21. Your paper won some awards. You noticed that you’re spending more time with your fellow staffers than anyone else.

22. You’ve bonded through laurels, scandals, and all-nighters. Before you could notice, you began counting your fellow staffers as your friends.

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Comics Editor + Chinese-English Translator.
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