A Happy Ending

To say that I did not have high expectations for how my senior year would play out would be a complete lie. Senior year was supposed to be the best year of my life to date– I would enjoy my last tennis matches, Friday sports games, dances and, of course, my last year of being in the Pilot, in which I had landed the role of Co-Editor-in-Chief. Everything was lined up to be perfect.

I joined the Portola Pilot mainly to fill my schedule and because many of my close friends had enjoyed their experience freshman year. Since that moment sophomore year, journalism has been something that has resonated with me. I never experienced a dynamic like the one in room 310, where everyone relies on each other to succeed. Even during the most stressful moments I was able to find comfort in knowing that my team would stand by me no matter what. From laser tag to class parties, I will miss laughing and chatting with every staff member.

While I lost the opportunity to experience my last moments with the class of 2020, I did not lose the Pilot; it was a way for me to have a sense of normalcy during my experience in distance learning. Although it was extremely tough, this year’s staff is composed of some of the finest writers and creators that I have ever known, and they have continued to impress me throughout these tough times. To be able to complete two issues without being able to see each other face-to-face is a true reflection of each staff member’s character and drive. I want to extend my gratitude to them for giving their time and love towards this craft. 

I want to make it known that none of the successes I experienced both in and outside of journalism would be possible without my Co-Editor-in-Chief, Simrat. He has been the greatest partner, and I cannot thank him enough for editing my drafts late at night, holding down the fort when I was playing in CIF and cheering me up when finishing our issues felt impossible. I know that we will continue to be great friends despite parting ways this fall. 

Thank you to my friends, family and teachers for being supportive of me throughout high school and for reading the Pilot every time I forwarded them mass emails of links to my favorite stories. Most importantly, thank you to Ms. Rapp for being the greatest adviser I could ask for. Although our class is mostly student-run, she works extremely hard behind the scenes to take us to the next level. She is one of the most dedicated mentors I have ever had, from traveling with us to workshops, competitions and conventions to putting her full attention to every word that goes into our paper.  I cannot thank her enough for that. 

To the 2020-21 staff: I wish you all the best of luck moving forward. It will be tough without the graduating seniors, but every one of you has the skills needed to succeed. I cannot wait to read all of the amazing content online next year and for years to come.

As an outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Portola Pilot staff member and senior, I hope that I have left my mark on Portola High and that I will be remembered by many, for I know that I will never forget how my high school years have changed me. Thank you all for such an incredible experience. 

Signing off,

Helena Hu