Staff Photo by Morgan DeHart
Howler staffers bid Wakefield adieu
The class of 2017 includes eleven dedicated Howler staff members who've penned memories and wishes for the rest of us
May 23, 2017
Emily Callahan, Co-Editor-in-Chief
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” –Henry David Thoreau
I remember the first time I walked into Wakefield High School. It was my sophomore year, and I had just moved from small town Roanoke, Virginia. I remember feeling a whirlwind of emotions- I felt lost, out of place, and lonely. I remember dreading the thought of spending three years in this place. However, by the grace of God above, by the time second semester of my sophomore year rolled around, I met some incredible people that since have made the years ever so meaningful.
My relationship with high school has been through its ups and downs. I’ve gone from the small freshman who wore way too much eyeliner, to the sophomore who was shy and confused, and to the junior who cried over AP classes and cared too much about perfection. But if I could go back and change any of it, I wouldn’t. I am who I am today because of high school. I am the confident, strong, and determined senior that I always dreamed I would be. Through this institution, I have been able to grow, find myself, learn, and meet some of the most genuine individuals I know.
My heart breaks not because I’m leaving Wakefield High School itself. I’m sitting on my bed, typing this crying because this is the end of an era of my life. It’s difficult for me to grasp that this time is over and that it’s never going to be like this again. It’s the little things I’ll miss most– like spending every fourth period with my best friends, sprinting into class after lunch (nobody wants Bazzell to take their pass!), and driving my not so little freshman brother to school in the morning.
High school has sucked, high school has rocked, high school has been high school. It’s hard to say goodbye. Change is always hard, but I am so excited to begin the next chapter of my life in Chapel Hill. I know that so much awaits me there, and I can’t wait to start a new adventure. Watch out world, here I come.
Rebecca Fiely, Co-Editor-in-Chief
“It costs nothing to be nice.” – Harry Styles
Goodbyes have always been so, so difficult for me. I’m the type of person that gets attached to people, places and routines very easily and the mere thought of breaking out of everything I currently know is a tad terrifying. High school has been like a steam engine rolling through the mountains. It was difficult at first, the uphill and the unknown of what’s to come was enough to make me come home every day upset. Soon enough it begins to get brighter and the sunlight started to peek through the hills. I felt myself grow into an individual that I would have never been able to predict at the beginning of the ride. I met my soul sisters my sophomore year and they have changed my entire life for the very, very best. I can’t even begin to describe how incredibly lucky I am that I have five best friends that are so genuinely kind, intelligent, funny and beautiful people. They’re my family and I will forever keep every single one of them in my heart. After I met them, I started to coast along and felt the ride get more routine. Sure, it was rickety at times and going over bridges was troublesome, but overall the ride was smooth. Now I can feel it coming to a jarring halt and while I’m so excited to get off and board the next train, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll get lost along the way. And I might, in
I met my soul sisters my sophomore year and they have changed my entire life for the very, very best. I can’t even begin to describe how incredibly lucky I am that I have five best friends that are so genuinely kind, intelligent, funny and beautiful people. They’re my family and I will forever keep every single one of them in my heart. After I met them, I started to coast along and felt the ride get more routine. Sure, it was rickety at times and going over bridges was troublesome, but overall the ride was smooth. Now I can feel it coming to a jarring halt and while I’m so excited to get off and board the next train, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll get lost along the way. And I might, in fact, I probably will. But I’ll figure out it. All tracks do lead home eventually.
To everyone going into the senior year, savor it. I know that when I heard seniors repeating that mantra when I was a junior I didn’t think much of it, but you’ll know when you get there that it truly does whiz by. Take classes you love. Smile at people in the hallway, even if you may feel weird at first. Don’t stress SO much about college, everything will happen the way it’s supposed to. Have fun, laugh at your teachers corny jokes, you’ll miss it when it’s gone. Sprint to your fourth period at least once coming back from smart lunch. Sing in the car with your friends. Don’t get too caught up in the hierarchy of high school politics. People are people and your worth will never ever be measured by your clothes or how many people you can surround yourself with. Join clubs because you want to. Talk to your teachers, they’re here to help you. Don’t be afraid to cry. Go to every homecoming or prom you can and dance your butt off with your best friends. Be kind, have compassion, and embrace the unknown.
Sophie Pearl, Opinions Editor
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” -C.S. Lewis
Throughout my high school experience, I have been faced with my fair share of challenges. I haven’t always appreciated high school; in fact, I probably have complained more than I’ve been satisfied. As excited as I am to start the next chapter of my life, graduation is a little bittersweet. As I leave this part of my life behind, I am also leaving my family, my friends, and everything I have ever known. College is a new adventure, and essentially, it is the start of the rest of my life as an independent person. I am excited and ready to take on all of the challenges that I know are coming my way, and I couldn’t possibly be more ready to graduate. Leaving Wakefield and closing the door on high school is opening a new door to the rest of my life. I am incredibly grateful to have found so many wonderful, beautiful friends at Wakefield, and I have made memories here that I will never forget.
Graduation is a major life milestone, and I am so proud of myself and of my class for making it to this point. As we sit in the convention center and stare across the sea of black caps, I want everyone to think about how hard we have worked to get here. We have come so far in our journey since freshman year, and I know that I’m incredibly proud to be a Wakefield graduate. Graduation is the last time that many of us will see the familiar faces we have seen every day for the past four years, and as scary as it is to leave behind our lives as high schoolers and move out of our comfort zones to bigger and better endeavors, I know that all of us will find success in our future.
As I said before, I have complained my way through high school, and wished the days away. In the last week of my senior year, I have had time to really reflect on what high school has meant to me. In simple terms, high school has been the wildest ride of my life. I have gained friends and lost them, made memories both good and bad, taken classes that have challenged me and bored me, and grown more as a person than I ever thought was possible. High school has been an adventure, with both good parts and bad, and if I could go back and change it, there are things that I definitely would, but I am also so happy with how I am ending my high school experience. I have amazing friends, I have good grades, I am attending my dream college in the fall, and I am genuinely happy.
When this door closes on June 11th, another one will open. I’m incredibly proud of all that I have accomplished at Wakefield, and I am thankful for all of the memories and opportunities I have been given. Before I end this chapter, I want to say thank you, Wakefield. It’s been a wild ride.
Emma Finn, Features Editor
“Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.” ~ Unknown
We’re all counting down the days…soon there won’t be any left.
I have mixed feelings about ending this chapter of my life; these past four years have been a combination of my absolute best and worst days. In those best days, I learned to celebrate the good in life and to enjoy every moment. In those bad days, I learned to appreciate the incredible friends and family in my life and to treasure those sunny days even more.
All four years of my high school career have been spent here at Wakefield High School. The best thing to come out of my experience at Wakefield would be meeting my five incredible best friends. These ladies are my everything. From PDQ Fridays to squad beach trips to movie night sleepovers, there are sure to be laughs and fun with these girls!
Graduation is approaching, marking the start of a new chapter in our lives! These past few days have consisted of many “lasts.” Last off-campus lunch Friday, last Pride Time, last Howler article, last prom… the list goes on. I think sometimes we forget about all of the “firsts” that are about to happen. It’s scary– no doubt about that! However, at some point in our life these things were a “first” and here we are now saying goodbye to them. It’s exciting! First year of college, first college course, first time leaving home, first time living on our own. Incredible, fantastic things lie ahead of us!
I am ecstatic to start my freshman year of college at the University of South Carolina in the fall! It already feels like a second home, and I can’t wait to see what these next four years and beyond bring. Congratulations class of 2017- shine on!
Bryn Goldsmith, Business Editor
“How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” ~Ferris Bueller
I remember walking into Wakefield on the very first day of high school. Walking in, I looked around at the seniors in the parking lot and said to myself, “oh my gosh they’re so big…and they can DRIVE!” Back then, it seemed like it would be forever until I would be a senior who could drive, but now that I’m here, it seems like it happened in the blink of an eye.
Reflecting back on my four years of high school, I am proud of myself. Proud of myself not only for the grades I earned, or the many clubs I joined but also for the relationships I formed. Relationships are crucial to thriving in high school. The people you surround yourself with influence who you are and the choices you make. As I sit here, I’m surrounded by five of my closest friends. I am thankful that I was fortunate enough to have a group of friends that pushed me to be the best I could be.
Although I didn’t love all my teachers, I adored a lot of them. Staying during lunch to chat with my favorite English teacher and watching my psychology teacher perform at a bar on Thursday nights were just some of the memories I have of my teachers. I’ll never forget my math teacher who taught me so much and was my greatest cheerleader. The best advice I could give to rising high schoolers would be to form truly meaningful relationships–both with peers and teachers. That is what truly made a difference for me during my four years at Wakefield.
Although completing applications, writing essays and getting into college was a trying experience, what has come after is so much harder. Wondering where to go and deciding how you will ever gather the strength to leave your home and the parents you love dearly are the hardest thing I’m experiencing my senior year. I am still trying to figure out how I will be okay leaving my parents and my friends, but I know that the adventure that lies ahead will be worth it.
As I get ready to attend Florida Gulf Coast University and move all the way down to Fort Myers, Florida, I am excited and scared. I know that my parents will always be there for me, and so will all of the valuable lessons I learned while attending Wakefield.
Christina Rascoe, Student Life Editor
“Everyday when I came into work, all I wanted to do was leave. So why in the world does it feel so hard to leave right now?” – Darryl Philbin, The Office
In just a few days I will walk across that beloved stage to shake hands with Mr. Bazzell and accept my diploma, which is a symbol of all the memories and hard work during these last four years. It seemed like yesterday I was a little freshman walking the halls off the Winn- Dixie center, excited, yet scared to take on whatever the next couple of years will bring. Every year, I was always envious of the graduating class. Jealous that they were all done with high school, while I had to stay here and endure the next few years. Now that our time is here, I realized that these moments are in fact, bittersweet. Sweet because I am opening up a new chapter in my life and further growing into the young woman my parents raised me to be, but bitter because I will be leaving behind all the laughter and happiness of the last four years.
I’m not going to lie, there are things about Wakefield that I will not miss such as the three lunches, the weird hall passes, tons of assigned busy work, and not to be mean, but some people. However, I will miss the teachers who have pushed me to give that extra ten percent and the true friends who stood by my side through thick and thin. Not only did these past years go by fast, but senior year definitely won first place in the race. It went from designing our crowns for the pep rally and hitting up cookout after the football games to hunting down my graduation dress. Now we have to overcome the hurdle called Senioritis as we make our way to the finish line on June 11th.
Yes, college will be scary. I am no longer confined to my comfort place which is my bedroom and decisions will now have to be made on my own. I will no longer see the same people I am used to seeing on a daily basis and I possibly have to sit in a class at a max of three hundred people instead of the usual thirty-two people I am so accustomed to. However, the new road in life I will soon travel on has also brought feelings of excitement. I now have the opportunity to expand my education and meet new people who come from different backgrounds. To know that I will be in an environment surrounded by people who have that common goal of success makes this new journey more relaxing.
One thing is for certain: I can’t leave Wakefield without giving a few words of advice to the underclassmen who will soon be in my shoes. First, know who your real friends are. Along the way, you’re going to lose and gain some friendships. However, it is up to you to decide whether that friendship is valuable enough to keep in your life. Second, form a bond with teachers. There are going to be teachers who will give you a hard time and could care less about your wellbeing, trust me I know. Although, there will be teachers who want to see you succeed and forming a deep, meaningful relationship with them will benefit you in the long run. Third, get a head start on your college applications. You don’t want to be stuck in the house working on that essay while your friends are out having fun. Lastly, SAVE YOUR MONEY. Believe it or not, senior year is the most expensive year. With application fees, cap and gown orders, and prom, things really to start to add up. So you might want to think twice on that beautiful shirt you see in the mall or that burrito from Moe’s during lunch.
All in all, high school had its share of ups and downs. Cherish each moment. I want to say congratulations to my fellow classmates! It’s nice to share this memorable experience with you all and I hope you enjoy the next chapter in your life!
Brendan Fusik, Sports Editor
“If the best is not perfect, the rest is not worth it” –Isaiah Rashad
To anyone who reads this I only have a few words of advice because, like many of my fellow classmates, I have a raging case of senioritis. Your senior year will be a very exciting time. All sorts of change is suddenly tossed into the sludge that is your junior year brain as it attempts to churn itself back into an actual functioning organ. Then school begins. By the time you are ready to begin contemplating the invigorating subject that is civics and economics, your college applications will be due in nearly three weeks. This means you are not going to be able to write the fourteen essays you said all summer you would write so it’s time to cut out your least favorite options. Now that you have started your essays, you realize there will be no time for that calculus test on the one topic you slept through. This is when senioritis strikes. Homework becomes Pride Time work, first period become breakfast, lunch is still lunch because no one would dare take away your lunch. Late nights and stress are sort of your thing now and it’s not that bad. No one needs free time anyway. Once you have finally had enough of typing the most annoying essays of your life and submit your polished application phase one has ended.
Phase two is the last time in high school you will ever actually care about your school work. While you anxiously wait for your acceptance letters to arrive in the mail, all you can do is make sure you keep up your grades so you can secure your spot in your dream school. Your brain definitely has other plans. Everything becomes more interesting than that scene in Hamlet that you are supposed to take notes on. So instead you go eno with that cute girl or boy you have been flirting with ever since the football games ended. Spoiler alert, the next day you fail the pop quiz on that chapter. There are two weeks left of the 1st semester. You threw up twice already and its only second period but you have an 81, and an absence last week and a test that could knock you down to a C in one fell swoop so you have no choice but to come to school. You wind up with all your exemptions, your grades fall right into place and winter break is when you can finally sleep in until the next day. Then you remember you still haven’t been accepted into college. You scour the mail everyday and one day before you go back to school it finally arrives. You are finally a future college student.
Phase three was most definitely my favorite. Your entire body begins to morph as senioritis takes hold of it. Dressing nice is a thing of the past and you look like you slept in that cardboard box behind the trailers. Most of the change is mental as you start you care less and less the fact that the kid with the big truck said your sweet ride is “as old as Mr. Bliga” because you know both Mr. Bliga and your car are awesome. You finally have time to explore the things you enjoy now that you have stopped doing any school work and you start to realize things about yourself that make you enjoy being you even more. You can plan way better parties and suddenly renting a house on the beach for spring break is arguably the most important thing you will do that month. Finding a roommate turns out to be super chill and you feel less worried about making new friends in college. Your parents start freaking out because you are more of an adult than a child and the truth is they are having a harder time dealing with all this change than you are. Unless you are like the youngest of three. You have officially enrolled in your school and you order some new clothes to show your school spirit. That’s when you start to feel completely relaxed as all you have to do is maintain until August. The last week of school rolls around and your last assignment ever is to write a letter to future seniors. You reminisce about all those times you did dumb things with your friends and all the ways you changed from middle school you into ballin’ pre-college you. And that’s all I can say because that’s as far as I’ve gotten as well. Good luck whoever read this whole paper and do everything you can to have a successful senior year.
Khaki McCrabb, Staff Writer
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” -Mother Teresa
These last few years have flown by. I can’t believe that I only have a few days left of my senior year. It doesn’t feel real that I’m getting ready to leave this school, and leave behind some pretty incredible people.
I moved to Raleigh my sophomore year, and I was quite bitter. I left behind everything I had ever known: my friends I’d loved since first grade, my close relatives, and my sweet hometown. I never thought I would be comfortable or happy here. Little did I know, God had great plans for me in North Carolina.
The three years I’ve spent at Wakefield have been full of fun times as well as some of the most difficult times I’ve ever experienced. I had to step out of my comfort zone and push myself to forge new friendships and get involved in a school that I never thought I would truly feel a part of. I’ve been so blessed to meet my absolute best friends, build relationships with my teachers, play in the top five of the tennis team, and serve in clubs to better my community. I’ve learned that it’s ok to take classes that genuinely interest you even if they don’t strengthen your GPA. I’ve learned that even if you are intimidated by a hard class, don’t let that scare you away; it may end up being the hardest class you’ve ever taken but you will discover a fire and determination in yourself to try your absolute best even if your best ends up being a C.
I’ve grown so much as a person, and in my faith over my high school years. I went on my first mission trip out of the country, I helped lead my first middle school youth group, I’ve loved and served with such amazing people.
Although I’m excited to move on to my next chapter at Virginia Tech, it still breaks my heart that I have to leave behind such wonderful memories and people. Wakefield High School has been a place of learning, crying, laughing, running to class, screaming, jamming in the lot, and lots of smiling.
Thanks for the mems Wakefield!
Emma Taurence, Staff Writer
“My philosophy is basically this, and this is something that I live by, and I always have, and I always will: Don’t ever, for any reason, do anything, to anyone, for any reason, ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or where you’ve been, ever, for any reason whatsoever.” -Michael Scott
School is almost out for the summer, but this year is different. At the end of the summer, I will not come back to Wakefield and see all the familiar faces I have seen for the past four years. Instead, I will start my next four years at UNCW; an unfamiliar place with new people. Now I’m not going to lie; I am very excited to get out of high school, get out of Raleigh, and start my new life in Wilmington. Although I am more than ready to move on, there are still some things that I will miss. I’ll miss the familiarity of the school hallways and seeing past and present friends as I walk through them everyday. I’ll miss the normal routine of my days and seeing my best friends. But most of all, I’ll miss the place I’ve called home for the last seventeen years.
Thinking about the person I was at the beginning of high school is difficult. I was a confused and struggling fourteen-year old who had no idea what her place in life was. And somehow in the span of four years, I have turned into the person I am today; someone who overcame challenges and made it to the end of senior year.
Although there are some memories of high school that I would rather block out, I am still presented with an overwhelming amount of good memories when I reflect back. Although some relationships died and some flourished, I still remember fondly everyone and thank them for helping me become the person I am today.
Looking around the classroom as I write this, I realize that I will never again be in a high school classroom with these people again. While others may cry at this realization, I choose to look at the positives and look into the future with a smile. Many things will change in the next few months, but I cannot be happier, especially to get out of school for which my motivation is declining each day. I never thought it would be true, but I am grateful for the experiences that Wakefield gave me and am excited to translate those into my college journey.
Michael Magnuson, Staff Writer
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”- Michael Jordan
Over the past four years, I have been fortunate enough to learn a lot about myself. At Wakefield I have met amazing people that have made me the person that I am today. Even though this was a small fraction of my life, my time at Wakefield will leave a lasting impact on my future.
My freshman and sophomore years were an amazing time. This is the time period in which I met some of my best friends. I loved going to the football games on Friday nights, and the bonfires afterward never failed to excite me. Then junior year came along with the hardest year of my life. My brother moved away to college, and three of my closest friends moved to different cities. Along with losing many important people from my life, I would spend countless hours studying at two in the morning. Oddly enough, I am thankful that I experienced this time of my life because it made me a strong and resilient person. I now feel that nothing can stop me from achieving my dreams.
Now I am about to graduate, and the only word that I can use to describe my emotions is conflicted. I am extremely happy to be graduating and pursuing my dreams, but at the same time, I am nervous to leave the only area that I have known for the past 17 years. All of the friendships and relationships that I have formed will either be broken or put on hold, and that is a scary thing to face. Fortunately, I will always have the memories of those who have positively impacted my life. The good news is that college has an entirely new, and hopefully exciting, life awaiting me, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
I am blessed to be able to say that I see graduation as a good thing and not the start of the dreaded “real world.” Next year I am going to be attending the school that I have dreamed of since freshman year. When I was entering high school I was determined to be accepted into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and I feel incredibly lucky to say that I was able to accomplish my goal. Everyone says that college is the four best years of your life, and I can’t think of another place that I would rather spend those years than Chapel Thrill.
Wakefield will be a place that I will always remember in a good way. When I am rich and famous, I will credit Wakefield for influencing me on my way to success. Until then, Wakefield, it’s been real!
Jacob Franks, Staff Writer
“A fool is a fool who will only listen to the foolish opinions of other foolish fools”–Franziska Von Karma
It wasn’t until I hosted my last Video Game Club meeting did I realize I that I’m actually a senior. I realized that this was my last year to spend time with this specific set of people, and all the organizations I’m in like theater, YCI, video game club, and The Howler will never be the same again. I was overwhelmed with a wistful sentiment, an emotion practically foreign to me, and I began tearing up and hugging everyone. I immediately began to regret not spending more time my club members, but I was also grateful I got to know all them. The people I met here mean so much to me; I’m really going to miss them.
High school was tolling to say the least, and I’m glad to say I somewhat survived. My take on life has always been to take everything casually, stressing out consumes valuable energy after all. Isn’t it smarter to stay calm in the face of adversity? I’ve got to say though, school has definitely challenged my ideals. High schoolers can be idiots, and I’m no exception. Dealing with people always seems to cause the most stress, for me at least. I’ve definitely struggled with anxiety and insecurities more than I’d like, but being flung into social turmoil definitely has strengthened my tolerance. The constant social turmoil may hurt, but it’s made me stronger and that strength is priceless.
Though, that strength can’t do much against exhaustion. High school can be physically rigorous, for a small period of time I would come home from theater rehearsals and struggle to be conscious enough to do my homework. I would always wake up the next day with an ever-growing pile of homework and coffee mugs. Luckily, I’ve grown around the stress of being in a production and completing my homework. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert, but I’ve gotten pretty adept at tricking myself into doing homework.
Honestly though, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get my butt handed to me by college, but at least I know I’m somewhat prepared. I exited the belly of the beast stronger and wiser than before. High School was my incubation chamber, and I’m just coming out of my shell. I’ve matured here at Wakefield, and I’m better equipped for college and life in general. In terms of Wakefield, my memories may not always be nostalgic, but I’ll always appreciate what this school and its people have done for me.