Sara Diaz

August Story


 

B.C. and A.D. are standard time markers historians use to reference when important things happened in history’s grand scheme. Like the rest of the world, I too use these labels.

However, these time markers have recently taken on new meanings. To me, many things are now “Before Cherubs” and “After Departure.” As melodramatic as it may sound, cherubs really was a perspective-altering,  impactful experience. A month later, I can safely say that cherubs will continue to be a marker on my timeline.

Cherubs touched me in a way that no other camp or convention or experience ever has before. When I stepped off the returning flight, I wasn’t the same person who stumbled into LAX five weeks earlier.

“Before Cherubs” was definitely not the brightest or happiest period in my life. At that point I was burned out, tired and extremely discouraged. Among other things, I had just finished the school year from hell, quit a terrible job and realized that my early acceptance to college meant very little without enough financial aid.  I decided to go to Northwestern not only because of my interest in journalism, but also because I desperately needed to get away from surroundings that had become stifling and depressing.

In short, cherubs was everything I needed and more.

Never before had I been part of such a highly motivated, diverse community of writers, instructors and speakers. The traits, skills and passions each individual brought to cherubs made the five weeks irreplaceable. Cherubs helped me rediscover my own passion. It zapped motivation and emotion back into me.

“After Departure” I spent a couple days moping and then got to work. Because school started just a few days after cherubs ended, I didn’t have a whole lot of downtime.

While I am just as busy now as I was before cherubs, post-cherubs me is a lot more at peace with everything. Sure, my smaller newspaper staff, 6:15 a.m. drives to school and crazy IB classes still stress me out. At some point tomorrow I will still probably want to tear my hair out. I will die slowly of boredom in Spanish independent study and hurriedly cram for a calculus quiz. But hey, grind now and shine later.

I am happy and thankful that I have good memories from this summer. I am thankful for the skills I picked up while at cherubs and I am thankful for what cherubs taught me about myself. I am especially grateful for the roommates, baes, spirit animals, J. Crewers, BSR inhabitants, mentors and friends who made cherubs great.

I’m glad that I now have a group of awesome people who understand AP Style, freak out when “Stay With Me” plays anywhere and can offer solid journalism advice. I would eat endless grilled cheese sandwiches, write 100 trend stories and walk too many miles to another 4th of July parade to get all these quality people in the same room again.

As I push to get my school paper online, apply to college and take on the multitude of other upcoming hurdles, I’ll think of this summer, the lessons learned and  my beloved J. Crew cherubs. I’ll remember that in many ways, it is always #medillSZN.


 

September Story


 

DEVELOPING NEWS: This past month was insane.

Dear J. Crewers,

While my September journalism pieces have not been risky or exciting per se, my journalism and other endeavors have been quite…interesting? To say that this was a hectic month would be the understatement of the century, so I’ll try to keep this short, sweet and coherent.

Firstly and most importantly, journalism. In about two weeks the Sunny Hills High School Accolade will debut online! After writing several web proposals (shout out to Zoe) and convincing admin, we are finally getting this thing off the ground. This is a big step for my school as we are the first in the district to start an online paper. It is all very new and exciting.

Unfortunately, not all of our other journalism endeavors have been so successful. Our first issue was…well, markedly a first issue. There were a lot of things I wish I could’ve fixed and I struggled to remember the wise words of Bret Begun. Our first issue felt like the visually impaired (me) leading the blind (my staff).

Fortunately, everyone is catching on quickly and getting more excited about journalism in general. Assigning stories the first time around was like pulling teeth. This time, staffers were scrambling to claim stories and social media management positions. Thankfully, we are on the up and up.

In other news, I’ve found myself “pushing my boundaries” as our assignment suggested in ways that I never thought I would. In the past few days alone, I’ve flown solo cross country, ridden on top of a Corvette and danced in front of most of the student body.

Surprisingly, I  was on Homecoming court. Even more surprisingly, I enjoyed it.

Anyways, there isn’t a day when I’m not grateful for cherubs. The experience I gained this summer has proven invaluable in many different instances. Because of cherubs, I’ve been able to act as a better leader for my staff than I would have otherwise.

Also, we really are everywhere. Recently, I met a fellow cherubs graduate while scoping out colleges in Pennsylvania. Cherubs gives me something to point towards during interviews, and now it’s easy to talk passionately about nerdy journalism fun.

Thankfully, this has been a huge asset during college admission interviews. And while I have not published my trend story, I am a better journalist and a better educated person for writing it.

As always, I miss you all and wish you the best. I am always up for a video chat. Even at odd hours of the night/morning, so let me know!

With all my love,

Sara


 

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