One thing that you will soon learn about me if you don’t know already is that I hate “Goodbyes.” I think that’s why I’ve put off writing this for so long. I feel like I don’t even know where to start, and I know that once I really start writing, I have to stop pretending my time on the Echo isn’t coming to an end.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is an adage that is typically reserved for when we are missing the people that we love. My junior year, I learned that this proverb applies not only to people, but also to passions.
Sophomore year, I ended up in a journalism class simply because I needed one more class in my schedule. I was adamant that I did not want to be a journalist, and I wasn’t interested in journalism, but I reluctantly agreed to take the class after my mom and counselor insisted that it would be beneficial in helping me understand how media should be consumed and how to recognize bias or misinformation, and I hate to admit it, but they were right. With every day I spent in journalism teacher Donald Johnson’s room, I fell more and more in love with journalism.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize what it meant to me until the class was almost over and my junior year schedule was already solidified. I resigned myself to a year without it, and the absence of journalism in my life was evident every time I saw a new article from The Echo.
I realized that I wanted to be the person writing those articles, and at a time that I was diving headfirst into beginning the college process, this was an important realization. I decided to study journalism in college, and now I will be attending the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Despite my excitement for this new step in my life, I am still reluctant to say goodbye to my time in high school. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the high school fantasy that I imagined growing up watching movies like “High School Musical,” but it was perfect in every way that I needed it to be. I could not have been surrounded by better people, activities or opportunities, and I am so grateful for them all.
I know everyone warned me, but this last year of high school has absolutely blown by. It feels like these last few weeks I’ve been scared to even blink because I don’t want to miss even a single moment. I just want to soak up everything I can from these last few memories of high school. It’s been everything I imagined it would be – happy, sad, nostalgic, stressful, depressing, uplifting – but through it all, I have felt this sense of belonging and acceptance with the class of 2022. I have never seen a group of people more impassioned, supportive, loving, hilarious and unique, and I know that each and every one of you will go on to do great things.
I also need to mention the WG cheer program, which has 100% shaped my time in high school. It has taught me so much about leadership, kindness, friendship and supportiveness, and it has brought me closer with some of my favorite people.
The staff at Webster Groves High School has supported, encouraged and guided me to become the person I am today. If I tried to name every staff member who has impacted me during my time in high school, the list would be as long as this story – and as we’ve all seen, my stories don’t need to be any longer than they already are.
Now, my goodbye to the Echo. Thank you for teaching me that it is possible to pursue what I love. Thank you for teaching me not to be afraid to ask the hard questions. My favorite thing about journalism is watching people’s eyes light up when they talk about their passions, and I am so grateful to the Echo for giving me the opportunity to see that every day. I still can’t believe that my time writing for the
Echo is over, but I know that I could not be leaving it in better hands – Lydia Urice, Maren Demargel, Owen Crews and Izzy Poole. I know that they will continue to write with passion and integrity and make the Echo the best it can be.
Finally, the hardest goodbye – to my sister, Hannah Goben. She has been my best friend for the last four years, and I can’t believe that in just a few months, we won’t be spending every second of every day together. Because for the last four years, we really have. Between sharing a room, driving to school together, cheering together, working together and just hanging out, it has been rare that Hannah and I spend a moment apart, and while this has led to quite a few arguments, I always know that in a few hours, we will send each other a TikTok or make a joke, and we will be fine again. Even though I’m going away to college, I know that our relationship will never change – because your sister will always be your best friend.
While I’ll never be ready to say, “Goodbye” to my time here, I know that it’s time. Thank you Webster Groves High School – for everything.
This will be Emily Goben’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.
Categories: Senior Issue