The Comeback Kid

Jack Magargee

It’s like I never left.

*Ms. Plows isn’t making me say any of this.*

I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t this kid drop out of the Friar’s Lantern? I really loved his fashion reviews, it’s a real shame.

And I agree with you on that one. It is a shame that I stepped back and it makes it even worse that it was senior year, when I should’ve been leading.

I’m not here to hand out advice, you’ll get enough of that from the other guys but I’m going to tell my story and my thoughts in the hope that some guy who comes after me can find some inspiration.

First, I want to address why I made the tough decision to not do any newspaper work for a while. It was just too much for me this fall. I was overwhelmed. I pushed myself past my limits and one more thing surely would’ve made me snap.

I don’t know how I did so much in the first semester. I would go from rugby to play rehearsal to a college course to go home and (finally) eat and shower before starting my work which would keep me up to the small hours of the night. It makes me sick that in the spring of senior year I couldn’t even manage half that. I was a victim of the senior slide. I’m not offering this up as an excuse, because if it is one, it’s a bad one.

Why am I saying this? Simple, I don’t want people to repeat my mistakes. Also it’s worth noting that I’m in my bag that this is probably the last column I’ll write.

I feel the need to clarify what I see as my mistake. My mistake wasn’t trying to do the most I could—that is something I see as very important and will never regret. It was quitting something that I enjoyed and had done so much for me.

If you go back and read the titles of everything I’ve written you’d see some ‘unique’ stuff. That’s because I got to write about the things I care about. Even though the things I cared about were movie trailers and male rompers. I had incredible amounts of fun churning out review after review and pun after pun thinking I was funny. I truly did enjoy my time with this publication.

My time here has done more for me than I could have imagined going in. This was not something I saw myself doing going into high school but surely enough, Jack Marchesani forced me to write for him only a month into freshman year and I was hooked. This was the first time I got to show the world my true voice.

Over the next four years I got to meet some of my best friends while also learning the artform that is journalism. I use the word artform very intentionally. To me, journalism is conveying information in a succinct and appealing way. I gained an appreciation for this and a love for it too. And they took me to Disney World and that made it all worth it.

I know I’m ranting here and I appreciate it if you’ve gotten this far with my erratic thoughts. I just want to write this all down while I’m in a correct mindset.

The end of senior year puts your mind all over the place. You get one million anxieties and insecurities about what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. Every little thing gets sentimental towards the end. I heard a friend in the caf say “this is my last first lunch, I’m really gonna miss it.” I’m not as affected as that guy but I am sad about leaving some things behind as I move on.

The first thing that hit me was the Choral Concert for the Spring Arts Show. In the middle of one set, I looked up and realized that was the last time I’d perform on the Duffy stage. About two weeks later I played my last game on our home rugby field. After both those incidents, I sat in my car for some time and thought about the best memories I had at each of those places. This is the third wave I’m getting of that senior sadness. I’m truly going to miss this and the countless memories I’ve made through it.

After all, this has been a large part of my development into the person I am today. Freshman year I was lost in the spectacle that is the Activities Fair until a voice said “hey FJ, you want a piece of candy?” This came from Jack Marchesani who, as I mentioned, leveraged my desire for some Twizzlers that day into a permanent gig writing for him.

For those uninformed, FJ is my old nickname: “Fat Jack.” Seems cruel right? Well, when I was still on the huskier side freshman year, it certainly was. But over the years, as I shed some pounds, the name became ironic and didn’t bother me.

If the original FJ knew what he was signing up for four years ago, the candy bribe (probably) wouldn’t have been necessary.

I’m not FJ anymore. He probably won’t follow me to college, but I don’t mind leaving his memory in the Duffy Computer Lab because he made that place his home.

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