A Diddy to a High School Experience that was honestly kinda pretty


Annabel Tiong, Junk Editor

Year nine was a time of fresh(men) and clubs
You’d think it’d be fun but I didn’t take too many dubs
Big old Rona made me kind of a Loner
But it’s okay because I still passed EM2 as closure

10 out of 10 is what I wish I could rate soph
CEJs every other day, while avoiding all coughs
Only saving grace, in this case, was “Among Us”
To this day I still believe Honors IS2 was sus

Junior year could take my kidneys and liver, for a dime
Gave me some besties, stressies, but a community to call mine
I sound biased, but Howler is just up that highest
Lowkey I peaked with the Timby fiction which the flyest

Now we’re old and living in the future
College check but attendance office I still humor
My biggest takeaway maybe, get some sleep
We all need it to get through each week

AP Lit taught me how to write poetry, so to that I pay my respects
For the ability to write a couplet that is so absolutely perfects

Mic drop. I was told to be funny, but as I’m writing this with my last brain cell debating whether or not I should study for my impending AP test, I feel the need to include a few serious words as well, so I’ve reached this healthy compromise. Please excuse my brutal honesty. 


My freshman year was rough. I played volleyball and I was awful at it, so rather than “play” I more or less got really well-acquainted with people on my team, the Northwood gym floors (shoutout to the Watermelon gum on the second bleacher towards the back) and had zero time to do homework after a grueling bench-warming session. I joined more clubs that I can comfortably admit, most of which would soon be dropped, and cared a little too much about things that didn’t matter. 

Highlights: getting to walk around with two bricks (backpacks) and a clarinet case.

Cry count: 52? 


Sophomore year was just as rough. I had to have a mental war with myself every single morning to lift up my unreasonably comfortable sheets just to stare at a blank screen with my teacher’s face, who would soon tell us to go do work independently. And then resist the urge to go back to sleep after finishing said work in twenty minutes. On the bright side, I did kind of finesse my way into Howler, play a lot of video games, decide what I want to do in the future and learn how to make whipped coffee. 

Highlights: watching Youtube thanks to split screen and Tiktok audios.

Cry count: 87 


Junior year was the least rough but also the most rough. I had to convince myself that everything would be worth it once I got through the week, but every single week. However, I have the fondest memories from junior year and I felt the most connected to Northwood in all the years combined. I really truly enjoyed everything I was a part of, especially The Howler, which gave me an outlet and freedom to voice my unhinged, Wattpad-esque mess of a brain onto a school-wide publication, and I got to have a lot of friends in my classes that struggled together with me. I would like to specifically shout out Ms. Midani and Penguino for allowing me to take much-needed mental health days. 


Highlights: learning what a loop was two days before the AP Computer Science A test. And of course, expressing my creativity with a well-crafted, well-executed, well-developed and perfectly-paced romance between two furry friends.

Cry count: 44 


Senior year was rough in a different way. You never really feel like high school will ever end until one day, you’re walking up the stairs to the 1400s building to use a nice, clean bathroom, and it just hits you that soon you’ll have to share a dorm bathroom with seven other people who may or may not have foot fungus. And even if they do, it’ll still probably smell better than the downstairs 1100s restroom. At least we’ll have soap there. I never thought I’d be watching people who I’d always considered underclassmen begin to take on leadership roles and slowly step into those responsibilities, while squinting and trying to reminisce on myself two years ago. I didn’t think I was a writer, but I learned how to write in different ways. I didn’t think I was a musician, but I learned that music still holds a dear place in my heart. I didn’t think I was going to study biology, but cell respiration is just too interesting. I didn’t think I would ever make it out of my tiny little high school bubble; somedays I would be sleeping and wish I didn’t have to get up and face the day, and just the thought of even opening my eyes was overwhelming. I didn’t think some pains would ever fade, and I didn’t think some people would ever leave. But they did. Somewhere in between all the anchor writing, cafeteria parfaits and Friday night football games, that naive unassuming freshman became an equally naive unassuming senior—still confused about life, but with a little more experience under her belt, and a bubble that is melting, ever so slowly. She began to step outside, still clinging on tightly to the last droplets of foamy residue before they inevitably evaporate, leaving her in the cold harshness of reality and the real world, but I guess that’s just what they mean when they accuse you of being the “imposter.”


You vent when everyone else least expects you to, including yourself. And you’ll end up somewhere you’re meant to be, regardless of which route you take. In my case, my route was messy, convoluted and I probably had to take out a few opps along the way, but I still managed to stay on the ship. 


Highlights: How can we quantify the relative brightness of single moments, when in reality, life exists on a continuum and everything is meant to be a series of infinite, inseparable scenes on a greater, incomprehensible scale. Probably getting to nap during my AP Gov test. Cry count: 11. (Soon to be many, many more). 


It’ll be okay. Just keep it civil in the chat.