Senior Reflections: Brooke Hilliard


Senior Brooke Hilliard is the Centerspread Editor for The Tide.

Brooke Hilliard, Center Spread Editor

Unlike the majority of my work on the Tide, this article has been highly procrastinated. With the few days I left myself to write it, I danced back and forth between different outlines, unsure of the way I wanted to capture the most important four years of my life. The truth is, writing an article about myself is strange and surprisingly difficult, especially because as the center spread editor, I’m used to writing short pieces with lots of pictures. So naturally, I’ve resorted to writing this article the same way.

Freshman year:

Photo courtesy of Sophia Monte
Me on Sept. 20, 2016, falling down in the RM world language hallway after trying to zip my backpack while walking.

In the ten months that I was a freshie, I endured a lot of change, a lot of which I resented at first. Before I faced jam-packed Main Street, I went to a private grade school that was 1/10 the size of RM. All of a sudden I was faced with 2500 unfamiliar faces, the challenge of navigating an enormous building, and figuring out how to properly ride a school bus (which is surprisingly difficult for a first-timer). I was hesitant to branch out and find extracurriculars that interested me. Soon, I was forced out of my shell. It was terrifying at first, but looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sophomore year:

Photo by Cory Bucy
Me on Main Street on Dec. 22, 2017, when I brought Dunkin’ Donuts for my friends in celebration of the holiday season.

Sophomore year registers as one giant blur in my memory. I did learn some valuable studying skills while taking AP Gov. I also learned that chemistry is somehow related to sinkholes and outer space. My love for writing began when I took creative writing in the fall semester, and it continued to grow. Eventually, my love for writing led me to promise one of my favorite teachers that I’d take her journalism class in the following year. I also made the groundbreaking discovery that drinking coffee at lunch is sometimes all you need to get through the day.

Junior year:

Photo by Cory Bucy
Me in the RM English hallway showing off my amazing birthday poster on Mar. 20, 2019.



I know there’s a stereotype that junior year is the worst year of high school, but for me it was my second favorite (nothing can top senior year). Sure, I was constantly stressed and the workload was exhausting, but I also found a lot of what I love about RM today. For starters, I joined the Tide, which was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I also founded Friendship Bracelet Club, joined the Student Eating Disorder Awareness Association, and started volunteer tutoring! Granted a lot of these activities boosted my college application, but the reason I pursued them was that I wasn’t afraid to anymore. I came to learn that putting yourself out there will get you in some pretty great places.

Senior year:
Now I have to leave these great places behind. I never imagined I would have a community that I love so dearly, one that has helped shape me into the person I am today. I am grateful for my amazing friends that have brought me so much joy and laughter, my teachers who have been unconditionally patient and compassionate, and the Tide for giving me a voice I never knew I needed. These past three and a half-ish years have set the foundation for my future, but I know I will always be a rocket.

Photo by Brooke Hilliard
Me taking a timed selfie in the RM science hallway on Mar. 12, 2020, not knowing it would be one of my last days at RM.