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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

We’re all in this together!


To our fellow seniors,
We’re graduating in three days! First of all, how do you feel? Whatever emotions you’re experiencing—excited, sad, nervous, anxious, hopeful, burnt out or a combination of them all—is completely valid.

These past four years have been a wild ride, filled with emergency distance learning in middle school, a socially distanced high school filled with faceless, masked people and finally planning for life after Northwood. For the last Howler you will ever read as a student at Northwood, let’s reminisce on the memories and accomplishments from the last four years.

For most of us here, our first experience at Northwood was a Zoom link. We played “Minecraft,” “Among Us” and “Animal Crossing” as our teachers tried to get us to read “Julius Caesar.” It was a bit of a shock to come to school for the first time and realize that the glazed eyes boxed inside the screen belonged to real people with real, bright emotions. But time kept going. Whether or not you walked forward confidently or were dragged by your shirt, time moved us forward. We persisted through Wi-Fi outages (both fake and real), Zoom breakout rooms, failed sourdough starters and the flames of the Silverado Fire that brushed our high school and homes. 

By the time we became sophomores, we were more mature. Actually, probably not. But it’s not our fault! We were unleashed into an unrestricted world with nothing but our quarantine hobby and the effects of a year’s worth of limited social interaction. We frequently made a complete fool of ourselves, but that’s okay. 

Junior year… that was a time wasn’t it? Although it was the first full year where normalcy seemed to trickle back into our lives, a lot of us look back to that time with a complicated web of emotions. It is junior year after all. 

Maybe it was the first time you stacked up on rigorous classes or when you started to feel the pressure of standing out in your extracurriculars. But maybe it was also the year where you felt like you finally started to find a place in your group of friends, or the year you entered into your first serious relationship. 

Whatever you might have encountered that year, isn’t it great to know that you made it out in one piece? If we can make it through all of that, we’re going to be OK in our next endeavors. Just know, even if it might not feel like it at the time, you’re most definitely stronger than you think.  

The whole college application process probably felt like the final boss battle at the end of your time at Northwood. Trying to really look inward at yourself, look back at your high school experiences and ahead toward your future—that really put things into perspective. 

For the first time, the future wasn’t a spring conference with your advisor, choosing next year’s classes so you can graduate on time. The future wasn’t another year with the classmates you had grown up alongside. For the first time, the future was uncertain. 

Maybe you worked meticulously on crafting your essays over the summer, ensuring each story portrayed your character and writing skills perfectly. Or maybe you started and submitted all of your applications the day before they were due (no judgment here; just speaking from personal experience). Or maybe you didn’t apply to any four-year colleges because you have different plans in mind. 

Most recently, you weighed your options and created a plan for the next few years. Whether it’s community college, trade school, a four-year university, work or a gap year, we hope you are looking forward to it. Remember, there is no “right” path. Your plans for the future are personal and your choice alone. 

As tempting as it may be, avoid comparing your post-high school plans to your friends or classmates. Friends, family, teachers, coaches, classmates or teammates may be curious and ask “What are you doing after high school?” and if you aren’t comfortable sharing, remember that you can always politely respond “I’m keeping that private, but thanks for asking.” 

It may feel uncomfortable as you start saying your final goodbyes to teachers, coaches or friends from Northwood who you have seen every day for the last few years. What if you forget the inside jokes that your friends say on a daily basis? What if you forget how happy you feel in your favorite teacher’s classroom? What if you forget those moments that define your daily routine here at Northwood, such as turning the corner, and finding that your favorite table is vacant?

Remember, the best days have yet to come. The good memories will stick with you (so you can finally say goodbye to memories about anchor essays, POGIL packets or tardy sweep music). As you may recall, from the Alma Mater you totally have memorized on the back of your hand, “Our friendships and our memories, we’ll hold forever true.” 

We’re honored to have spent these past four years with you. We hope you enjoyed reading The Howler every month, and that you will continue growing while staying true to yourself. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Have a great life, T-wolf.

Signing off, 

Karen Bruce (Editor-In-Chief), Kaylie Wang (Accent Editor) and Rachel Yokota (Managing Editor)

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About the Contributors
Karen Bruce
Karen Bruce, Editor in Chief
Karen Bruce is the Editor-in-Chief of The Howler and spends her every free moment filling out the New York Times games (wordle, then mini crossword, then spelling bee). If you want to win her over: tempt her with a box of macarons, a conversation about Wuthering Heights and an invitation to watch the show that must not be named, Mondays on ABC 8/7c.
Kaylie Wang
Kaylie Wang, Accent Editor
Kaylie Wang is this year's Accent Editor. She is a senior and has succeeded at winning the top prizes from spinning wheels three times. Some of her hobbies include making pottery, laughing at The Good Place or being infuriated by Gilmore Girls. Her favorite articles to write are feature stories.
Rachel Yokota
Rachel Yokota, Managing Editor
Rachel Yokota is a Northwood senior and the Managing Editor for The Howler. She has created a whole new level of freelancing by finessing her way out of The Howler roster for three years—and if she’s not hacking InDesign, you’ll find her at the pool. Rachel’s best friends are and (on the down low…).
Madeleine Pham
Madeleine Pham, Graphic Editor
Madeleine Pham is the Graphics Editor of the Howler. She is a big green tea enthusiast and is an adamant chocolate hater (it’s the aftertaste and texture). If you ever find her, make sure to give her a book recommendation that she can add to her “To Be Read” spreadsheet. Fun Fact: She draws most of her graphics with her fingers.

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