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Senior column: Empowered by expression
May 19, 2023
I like to think I am a fascinating paradox. Miraculously, I’m both talkative and shy.
When engaged in conversation with people I know well, my words flow effortlessly. But beneath that seemingly gregarious exterior lies a shyness that reveals itself in quieter moments where I meet people for the first time.
In said moments, I’m hesitant to initiate conversations, I prefer to observe from the outside. It’s in these moments of reluctance that my introspective and “introverted extrovert” nature shines through.
I have often been told that my unique blend of talkativeness and shyness has mystified people I meet and become close friends with. But at home, my family never hears the end of my rambling.
It was that outspokenness that developed a key personality trait: I am never afraid to express my opinions at home. In public, it is a bit of a different story. My mother often remarks that my words flow like a river, carrying with them a barrage of uncorrelated thoughts and ideas that often detract her from productive work.
Despite my shyness in public settings, it was my mother that pushed me to join The Sidekick as a sophomore. In her eyes, it was an obvious, no-brainer choice. I was talkative and I had a knack for writing, so the school newspaper was deemed the perfect place for me to embrace that part of my identity.
I will admit, her explanation was solid, yet it failed to quell the overwhelming fear that was coursing through my body. This was all new to me and the thought of baring my soul through written words for everyone to read was both exhilarating and incredibly daunting.
Nevertheless I took a leap of faith and joined the program. As I embarked on my journalistic journey, I found comfort in the written word where my thoughts could flow freely and had an audience. Through the stories I wrote, I discovered the power that my voice had and gradually gained confidence as I began to share my opinions with the world.
Crafting stories in a corner of D115 and finally hitting publish became my sanctuary, allowing me to communicate in a way that transcended my introverted tendencies. With each word I typed, my voice became stronger and left an indelible mark on my own sense of self.
Now as a senior, my once-quiet voice has blossomed into a resounding force, loud enough for me to be named as the executive editorial page editor for the program for the 2022-23 school year. While I have gained the confidence to put my opinions into writing and release them for the entire world to see, I have comfort in another facet of D115. The newsroom became a haven teeming with spirited banter and lighthearted debates where we share moments of laughter and playfulness, a respite from our journalistic pursuits.
Even if I would have never dared to reveal my smallest opinions to people outside of my closest circle, I now debate about Ben & Jerry’s versus Blue Bell ice cream, which fast food chain is the best option for vegetarians, if all animals are cute and the continuously heated debate about the appropriateness of all caps in journalistic practices.
These small debates are frivolous, simply a means to foster a lively classroom atmosphere that distracts from the stress of the job, but my eagerness to walk into class to see what my period debates that day is something I would have never imagined I would partake in, but here I am defending The Tonight Dough with my life.
It’s these debates that have formed my favorite memories of the D115 classroom. Sophomore Manasa would have never imagined that this program would lead me to some of my closest friends and help me make unforgettable memories that have defined my senior year.
So, take that risk. Jump into unknown waters. And if you’re lucky enough like me, you can discover something far greater and more profound than what you could have ever imagined.
So for the final time, this is Manasa Mohan from The Sidekick signing off.
Follow Manasa (@Manasa_Mohan_7) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter
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