Dear Common Sense: Thank you and goodbye


Photo courtesy Christina Liu

Senior Christina Liu will be attending the University of Southern California on a half ride this upcoming fall.

I, like many others, found this year to be an uphill battle. A pretty steep one, too.

Zoom fatigue, on top of the lack of daily structure, on top of the inevitable senioritis, has made each day feel like it bleeds into the next, and even the bare minimum has become a challenge. It was difficult to believe that I would have been able to accomplish anything alone. 

But, finding a community that keeps you going is invaluable. Common Sense has shown me that it’s fine to struggle, ask for help and take breaks for yourself, and supported me the whole way through. 

To only use this past year as a reflection of my time with Common Sense would be inaccurate. Since starting off my newspaper journey as a freshman who was pushed by her older sister to join, unsure if she wanted to stay, I can now proudly say that I’ve carved a space for myself here — and I’ve never regretted a single moment. From being the last person to finish their page during my first ever press day (where I needed the assistance of not one, but three other editors), to now being the one to guide new editors, I feel like I’ve grown quite a bit. 

But growing also means eventually leaving the environment, people and comfort I grew with. And besides the obvious, it’s the small things I’ll miss — the old couch that we sunk a little too far into whenever we waited for Mrs. Starr’s edits, the white board that seemed to have a perpetual game of tic-tac-toe scribbled onto it, the wall of editor portraits in the back of the room (that would accumulate a large amount of doodles of mustaches and goatees by the end of the year) — all details that have turned Common Sense into what it is today. 

It’s hard to believe that March 13 of 2020 was the day I left these in-person memories behind and became the last day I would step foot into room 242 in my entire high school career. It’s still funny how a two-week break that we looked forward to has extended into over a year of remote learning that we’re now sick of. But, as strange as it is to say, I wouldn’t have traded this past year’s experiences for anything else. 

Without this unpredictable challenge, we wouldn’t have had to force ourselves to come up with an equally creative solution. Changing from our biweekly newspaper publications to quarterly newsmagazines was a huge test to our teamwork and design, and I’d like to say we passed with flying colors. 

It has become cliché to say that time flew by in the blink of an eye, but it’s hard to believe I’m sitting here writing my final article for Common Sense — maybe even a bit tear-jerking.

To the paper, community and advisor that have seen me make mistake after mistake, pushed my creative limits and most importantly, helped grow into the person I am today, thank you. Even after all these years of honing my writing skills, words simply can’t express my gratitude. 

To the future of the editorial board that has so impressively adapted and put forth their best work in these unpredictable circumstances, I am so incredibly excited for what you’ll do next year. 

And to all those who are still unsure if they should join that club, meet new people or simply take the risk of leaving their comfort zone: just do it, it might just change your life. 

See you later, 

Christina Liu