Lisa’s Senior Column


Lisa Cochran, Co-Editor in Chief

As a Junior, I frequented Café Diem over double lunch. Consequently, I was often late for AP Lit (the consecutive class period). One day, I felt an internal drive to not, perhaps, disappoint Mr. Webb for once. I started to speed. After coming to a 4 way stop and seeing the car to the left drive through, I made a break for it. Little did I know, an old man had been crossing the street. I slammed on my breaks. I didn’t hit him but I almost did. In what seemed like a fit of seething, convulsive anger, he flipped me off. Much of high school felt like this.

Much like my driving, my advice-giving is not up to par. Frankly, I don’t even believe in advice. In a universe that is so coincidental and almost heartbreakingly haphazard, you can’t possibly attempt to recreate the same experience as someone else to the same effect. Despite everything I just said and in the most hypocritical manner ever, I will share what made the moments that weren’t me getting the finger from an old man, all the more worthwhile.

I traveled ( I forgot you aren’t supposed to use italics in news style but I think I’ll keep it because I doubt the Associated Press will come after me for a senior column in a high school newspaper). While I did do quite a few transatlantic voyages, I think even traveling to Chicago and Minneapolis- both sleepy, argument-filled road trips away-  changed my perspective. Personally, I need a change in view from the window of the room I’m sleeping in from time to time.

I impulsively (accidentally) got a drastic haircut. I also tried not to tell anyone before the fact but, completely true to brand, I exploited myself with chopped hair on Instagram. It’s difficult to describe the sense of liberation this hair cut gave me. Perhaps because it gave me a sort of freedom (identity crisis) that I didn’t even know I needed. Yes, people told me that my new haircut made me look like Winona Ryder but maybe that meant my true self was Winona Ryder (sans the stealing from Saks, of course).

I did my homework almost exclusively in cafés. Thanks to having the attention span of an inebriated mosquito, I often needed to leave my house to get any work done. Yes, this sounds like a bourgeois and unnecessary habit but, it didn’t even cost me that much in the end (besides the parking tickets I always got when I refused to pay parking meters to protest capitalism). I actually found each experience to be worthwhile. A small latté is little price to pay for a fascinating people-watching experience and a few hours of productivity.  

I got an internship with a local newspaper. I really don’t want to make this senior column all about me (even though it is MY senior column). While interning at the Ames Tribune was something that was well-suited to my interests in journalism, I believe it is important for everyone to get some “real world” experience in careers they are considering. Reach out, ask for things (you’ll never get a concrete answer if you don’t ask and sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the answer is yes). Over-all, I’ve enjoyed working with the Ames Tribune. While it did lend to me receiving some hate mail, sitting through a Republican caucus and being accused of operating a drug cartel, it has been enriching and empowering, to say the least.

I went to live in Manhattan by myself for six weeks over the summer. Attempting to navigate the New York subway system all alone (and then taking the wrong train and ending up in Brooklyn) is certainly a sobering experience. I should also add that this heavily influenced where I decided to go to college.

I was politically active. In this day and age this is essential, I think. In an attempt to remain objective in this piece, (a rule which I’ve already broken) I will say that, in one way or another, President Trump has made an activist out of all of us. Whichever political orientation you lean towards, you should care about the government that represents you. It affects all of us.

It has certainly been a tumultuous four years. Despite the common feeling, my time in high school did not feel brief in any way. It dragged on at times. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Because it felt so (excruciatingly) long, I was able to savor certain aspects of it. You, too, should be thankful. If it weren’t so long and painful, you wouldn’t have such a well-recounted senior column from me. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors and you are NOT pretentious if you prefer sparkling water to flat water. Ciao ciao.