One Last Time

In many ways senior year has not played out the way I had hoped or ever envisioned for myself. After struggling and working through three years of high school, I was excited to go to more football and basketball games, spend more time with my friends and enjoy the final dances and banquets. At the same time, I was anxious realizing that this would be my last year at Portola, the last year in the Pilot. 

While I was able to enjoy some aspects of my senior experience, it feels surreal to realize that myself along with the rest of Class of 2020 will never get our graduation. Leaving school for what would be the last time on March 13 didn’t seem like an ending, but more like a temporary pause while the world figured itself out. Yet, as the reality began to sink in, I found myself looking towards the Pilot and its staff as an anchor. 

Throughout my entire high school experience, the Pilot has provided me with an outlet to truly express myself, and for that I will forever be thankful. I joined the Pilot on a whim two weeks into my sophomore year after I heard Annie, Julia, Farhad and Junhee talking about it non-stop in marching band. That turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as I found a passion for journalism and newspaper that has shaped my writing skills and my viewpoint on the world. 

While I’m thankful for every member of the Pilot, I truly can’t imagine what my senior year would’ve been like without my Co-Editor-in-Chief, Helena Hu. She has been first and foremost a wonderful friend, and it was amazing to grow even closer to someone I’ve known for almost 10 years. Her energy, enthusiasm and passion for the Pilot has remained constant throughout the year, and I’m glad that she’s been able to become a friend I can confide in outside of the production.

The beauty of the Pilot comes with the people and the friendships that I’ve been able to form that go beyond the newspaper. The Pilot has become a second family that I will miss, and none of that would have been possible without the tutelage of Ms. Rapp. She has been an amazing adviser, pushing a production with only four years of experience to new heights every year and continuing to inspire us to work harder. I can’t imagine what my high school experience would have been without her, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities she has given me to prove myself not only as a writer, but as a leader.

To Kate, Akshay and the rest of the 2020-21 Pilot staff, I’m excited to see where you take the production next. With all the seniors leaving, you have an opportunity to carve your own legacy and place within the Pilot, and I am excited to continue to read the amazing stories you put out.

As I sign off from my final article with the Portola Pilot, I hope I have been able to fulfill and push the boundaries of what it meant to be a staff member and Editor-in-Chief within the production. The Pilot has been one of the most important things in my Portola experience, and I hope it, alongside my other endeavors, has allowed me to leave a lasting impact on the school and its culture. Thank you for everything.

Sincerely,

Simrat Singh