Cookie Dough talks about living to the fullest

By Rachel Mattison, Cookie Dough

I am one of the least artistic people I know. I am pretty bad at design and don’t have an eye for  making things look aesthetic. Therefore, my mom was pretty surprised when I signed up to be part of the yearbook staff during my freshman year. For me however, yearbook was just the class my friends were taking, and I was along for whatever ride was required to be with them. That idea was less surprising to her. 

At the end of freshman year I told my mom that the next year we would all be switching to The Observer. She saw me fit in that class slightly more, but English has always been my slightly weaker subject in school. “Maybe this will be good to teach you how to write,” she said. For me, the writing was just something I figured I had to do if it meant being with my friends. 

I am so grateful to have made those decisions and gotten to spend 45 minutes of each day in a class that has become its own version of a home and family. In the back room I sleep and have celebrations, just like my real home. We laugh together (especially when Gans does anything), we fight (about newspaper related things, who will win the Olympics, or literally anything), and, occasionally, we write newspaper articles.

The reason I began to love writing for the paper was finding stories that were able to connect people. I love writing stories that either demonstrate how the community has united, such as when I wrote about the founding of K9s, or writing stories that will hopefully promote connection, such as profiling freshman in 2020 after they started school virtually. The ability to leverage my position on the paper to enhance the WCHS community was an honor that I felt had been bestowed upon me. 

Most of the classes I have taken at WCHS have been because they were required or would look good to colleges. Journalism I simply took to have fun with my friends. As all of you go into this next stage of life, I hope you continue to make room for the people and things that add happiness to your life. You will be able to show up as your best self in all other parts of your life if you take breaks and relax. 

Even after three years on The Observer staff, I still do not particularly like writing. I am excited to stick to numbers and major in business in the fall at Washington University in St. Louis. I do have better grammar than when I first signed up for this class though, so thank you to either editing articles or my ACT tutor. Writing articles was just a part of the class, a class that was so much bigger. Sometimes, there are things that you are required to do to do the things you love. 

Find what you prioritize and do whatever it takes for you to get that. For me, people and socialization were what I prioritized, and learning about newspaper was what got me to that. And along the way I got to have the incredible opportunity to be published in print and got the ego boost of my grandparents’ texts after seeing my articles. While pursuing what you care most about you may find cool things along the way.

As sad as it is to leave the comfort of all I know, and the people that I love, I am so excited for all of us. Our years in Potomac have taught us so much, and now we get to use who we have become in a different context. Sko dawgs!