Emma Saltzman’s Senior Reflection

My fellow editorial board members and I often talk about a sense of “impending doom” surrounding press week. Currently, I am feeling that feeling more than ever. How is one supposed to sum up their most formative four years in less than 500 words? This assignment has left me staring at a blank white screen for weeks. Maybe it’s because I don’t know what to say, or maybe it’s because I know this is the last time I will write for The Pitch.

I think that “press” should be short for “pressure,” because that’s what it truly is: pressure to make the best issue we can. As the poster child for anxious, ambitious teenagers, I both dread and anticipate these weeks. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have cried over page layouts more than once, but in the end, there is no feeling as rewarding as holding a copy of your heart and soul, hours of hard work, right in your hands.

Is that what my diploma will feel like?

Looking back, I spent too much of my time these last four years fixated on the idea of perfection. My socialization over the internet (and Disney Channel, let’s be honest) forced me to buy into a fake reality that I would never be a part of, because it was fake. I have always imagined high school, particularly my senior year, in a very specific, very “perfect” way. The truth is that these four years were as far from perfect as it comes and I think that it took a pandemic for me to learn to accept imperfection.

I especially have The Pitch to thank for this revelation. Such a high stakes environment can be a breeding ground for perfectionist tendencies, yet this experience has allowed me to embrace messiness, last-minute changes and blind optimism. When I reflect on this period of my life, both this rocky last year and the two and a half “normal” years that preceded it, The Pitch maintains a spot in the center of my memories. Not to be cliché, but this staff is like a family. While I have lost hours of sleep over page layouts and spent far too many of my afternoons on Zoom with my fellow Editorial Board members, they became people I could confide in, relate to and escape this occasionally bleak world with. I attribute an enormous amount of my growth in high school to the people in room 193.

I have decided that this feeling of “impending doom” is like many other parts of senior year: bittersweet. There is so much pressure to make this issue and my remaining days of high school perfect. I hope that this issue of The Pitch goes completely smoothly, that the end of senior year will look straight out of a movie and I can throw my cap in the air and graduate without a care in the world, but there will be bumps in the road– I just have to remember to put my seatbelt on and enjoy the ride.