Looking back at high school journey, Common Sense experience


Photo by Kevin Glaser

Senior Brendan Glaser works on his final Common Sense article.

When I was in middle school at Frost, I remember a couple of times walking by the stadium during P.E. and seeing the Wootton high school newspaper. I was instantly intrigued by the idea that you can write about basically whatever you want and everyone in the school has the opportunity to read it.

When I passed by the newspapers in the ticket booth by the stadium, I took a few copies to bring home with me. Surprisingly, it never had occurred to me that there was an actual class for journalism and newspaper writing. I always assumed it was a club or something else. From that point forward I had the idea in the back of my mind of potentially joining the school newspaper.

During freshman year I was extremely nervous for the beginning of high school. Just like most of us, I was resistant to change and to start something new and different. I initially was too anxious to put myself out there to join any sports or extracurricular activities. I was just focused on making new friends and doing the bare minimum to get through that first year.

In addition, COVID made things substantially more difficult in terms of putting myself out there. Being more of an introverted person, I honestly didn’t mind having a portion of freshman year virtual because I didn’t really enjoy going to school that much at the time. Even though I liked aspects of virtual classes, this experience added on to not wanting to expand out of my comfort zone even more so because of the lack of social collaboration with online school.

During the following school year, which was fully virtual, my friend who was already in the newspaper convinced me to give the newspaper class a shot. I had thought about it in middle school and would have a friend to do it with. So I decided to join.

When I first joined Common Sense, after the first day I knew that it was a great decision that I made to take the class. It was so open ended in terms of both the structure of the class and on what you actually are able to write about. I liked how there were no tests or quizzes and that I could just be graded on something that I enjoy doing. Initially I had wanted to just solely write about sports, both Wootton sports teams and local professional sports teams. Sports was and still is such a big aspect of my life so I wanted to focus on just that. Later on, however, I found myself enjoying writing about a variety of topics such as school issues, food and restaurants and more. When I had my first article published in the print magazine junior year, I was beyond excited and couldn’t wait to share it with friends and family.

Over the course of my time in high school since joining Common Sense I have joined two varsity sports teams for the school, joined the National Honors Society and have written over a dozen articles for the school paper. None of this I would have thought to be possible when I was just a freshman first stepping foot in Wootton. I am so grateful for all my friends and my parents who have supported me along the way through high school and can’t wait for what’s ahead.