An Editor’s Swan Song

by Mairead Poulin, Editor in Chief, Class of 2013

I’ve procrastinated in writing this article up until the very last minute. This is due, in part, to the fact that I am, after all, a senior, currently two weeks out from graduating, and feeling little pressure to perform to the highest standard possible (these are words I never thought I would write).

But I’ve also put off writing this because it is yet another “last time” that I’ll do something here at Williston. I’ve encountered far too many of these lately. Friday night marked the last time I’ll eat dinner with all my classmates until we have graduated college. A week ago I took my last bow on the Williston stage. In a matter of days, I will have attended my last Saturday class.

Freshman year photo

Some of these lasts are welcome – a release of breath. But most of them are marked by the pain of letting go of something I’ve held near and dear to my heart during my time here. All of them are bittersweet.

I arrived at Williston in September 2009. Wednesday classes began at 8:20. President Obama had barely been in office a year. I had long blonde hair, a Motorola Razr phone, and a mere curiosity about writing. Four years didn’t seem like that long of a time until I considered all of this.

I think what I wanted most of all, as a freshman entering the chapel for her very first orientation program, was a place in the world. I was your typical “lost and unaware” fourteen year old. Shy. Timid and anxious about the next four years. What would I do? Who would I be with? Who would be?

Williston answered all of these questions. In being here, I have found my place. I have reconnected with old best friends and been incredibly lucky to find new ones too. I have benefited from an amazing family in the theater department and have spent far too many hours pretending I work with the teachers in the English office. I have constantly surprised myself by how many times I have been able to shed my shy, ninth-grade persona, from standing in front of assembly pledging my love for Beyonce to standing in front of the varsity softball team as their new manager to standing up for myself when I needed to.

It’s thanks to Williston that I have fallen in love with writing and feel secure in my college and professional plans. It’s thanks to Williston that I know how to write a ten page research paper, to apply stage make-up, and to try new things. It’s thanks to Williston that I now have the strongest friendships of my entire life. I have learned to succeed. Perhaps more importantly, I have learned to fail. Most important of all, I have learned how never to fail myself.

As usual, I digress, as I reach the end of my word limit for this last column. I will truly miss it here, even as I know that it’s time to move on. It has been an incredible four years, during which the world has changed, our school has changed, and we have changed. We are fully prepared for what the next four years of college – as well as the rest of our lives – will hold. But I hope we never forget the little moments, people, and things here that brought us to that point, no matter how it looks for each of us.

For me, it’s this: my hair is far shorter. My knowledge is far increased. I have found my place. And I have never been so thankful.