Senior Reflection: Avery Wang


Photo by Ella Koenig

Senior Avery Wang smiles for the camera.

Avery Wang, Editor-in-Chief

Deadlines are the expiration dates of journalism. If a carton of milk spoils past the date, news (and your newsroom credibility) sours beyond the deadline.

Deadlines and I have a love-hate relationship. Freshman year Avery stuck to them religiously. Senior year Avery is wondering how she’ll pursue journalism if her relationship with deadlines doesn’t improve. I’m writing this piece under a deadline; I wrote my last articles of the year under a deadline; I did everything in high school under the pressure of a deadline, under the sense that some impending consequence–whether it was reward or failure, 10 seconds or 10 years later–was looming.

I crammed for unit tests during the five-minute period transitions, talked at the speed of light to tell my friends stories in the time that we had and rushed from school to home to my dance studio and back every day. I expected the days when I checked off the most tasks on my to-do list by 10:30 pm to be the most fulfilling, but the most memorable parts of high school are the conversations in which time felt endless, the moments that had no deadline to wrap up or turn in.

I’ve stayed up until 2 am talking to friends on the phone more times than I can count by now. Bedtimes, after all, are just deadlines on when you go to sleep. I’ve run to Oms in 12 minutes and made it back in time to schlep myself up the three flights of stairs to bio, right before the lunch bell rings. (Another deadline on when to be back in school.) I’ve probably spent entire days of my life avoiding school work by watching TV or getting distracted, but going down rabbit holes left me with fascinating knowledge and a desire to learn more. This wouldn’t have happened without the “hate” part of my love-hate relationship with deadlines.

I once saw a tweet saying, “I don’t work well under pressure, but without pressure, I don’t work.” It immediately reminded me of the fast-paced, encompassing nature of journalism. There were countless times these past four years where I thought, “If I could drop every class except for English and history, and do nothing but write for The Tide, I would be so much happier.”

It turns out that I didn’t need to quit anything or just focus on one set of deadlines. I needed to let go of missing them and feeling like they ran my life because the true value of stuff I learned in high school (to name a few things: spontaneous ice cream/boba trips can solve almost anything, how to love your friends, how to spell “guarantee,” the joys of doing the mini crossword every morning, I can’t drink coffee but I do it anyway, high fives and waves are awesome) does not lie within the timeline of meeting a deadline.