Dains: Creating Unexplored Connections


As our school grows and the list of students gets longer, it becomes harder to grow connections with your peers. Your comfort zone can get a little too comfortable and it takes one massive push to open your eyes to new things. This push came to me in the news room.

I have always had a hard time relating to others, but I never believed it slowed me down. Sure, I wasn’t the most well-liked person in the school and I couldn’t name most people in my grade, but I had friends and I was a successful student. I originally joined news as another way for me to escape into my quiet, creative comfort zone, but it did the exact opposite. Throughout my time as a 2022-2023 reporter for the Black and Redgister, my comfort bubble has been continuously popped and I learned how to build relationships and communicate with others without its presence.

Taking my first step into the news room in August resulted in some internal terror. The tiny news staff was filled with people exactly the opposite of me. They were peppy, I was broody. I had a few, very close friends, while they were familiar with everyone in the school. My hasty generalization made me believe I was in for a long year.

When I was assigned my very first People of the Month story, it dawned on me that my sheltered lifestyle had not allowed me to form bonds. I was tasked to write a story about a very well-known, athletic member of our student body, but I didn’t even recognize their name. I walked to their class, ready to conduct my first-ever interview, terrified to speak to another person. However, after conducting the interview, I realized that this unknown student wasn’t as scary as I thought. In fact, they were the exact opposite. They were friendly, kind and very easy to talk to. Did that mean that all of the people I had been avoiding for so long had the potential to enlighten me?

This question soon got answered by my fellow reporters. The peppiness and excitability of my peers wasn’t the con I had assumed it was. Over the year, I slowly came out of my shell and began to see that I didn’t need to be an exact match with someone to communicate with them. Soon, the news room became a place for me to grow, laugh and learn things that I couldn’t have in my shelter.

Looking back at how I was last year can be a little painful. I wish that I had the ability to go back and open my mind to unknown people. While I still don’t know everyone in the school, I would like to say that I have now successfully built connections never possible without conducting interviews or collaborating with students in the news room. And who knows? Maybe next year, I will be able to learn even more names and create more friendships.