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2017 senior column: We are wildcats: Madison Eble

Madison+Eble+stands+in+the+arms+of+Wilson+the+Wildcat+as+a+senior+at+EHS+one+last+time.
Madison Eble stands in the arms of Wilson the Wildcat as a senior at EHS one last time.

Madison Eble stands in the arms of Wilson the Wildcat as a senior at EHS one last time.

Kate Laubacker

Kate Laubacker

Madison Eble stands in the arms of Wilson the Wildcat as a senior at EHS one last time.

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High school cannot be described in just a few short words.

These past four years have been a roller coaster of emotions filled with some of the best memories.

I stepped into EHS scared as could be.

Scared that I would get lost in the halls and be late to my classes.

Scared that I wouldn’t find my friends or a table to sit at for lunch.

Scared that I would be pushed around by the upperclassmen.

I kept my head down and stayed clear of the seniors who crowded the benches in front of the wall of windows that look out over the courtyard as I made my way through the halls to class.

I tried out for Golden Line my freshman year. It took every ounce of confidence I had in me to do so.

I rushed home from dance class and stormed into the kitchen with the iPad refreshing the Golden Line website again and again. The list popped up after a dozen refreshes and my mom and I burst into happy tears in the middle of the kitchen when we saw my name. I made the varsity team. I was amazed.

It was my freshman year, and I was already a part of a team.

Being on Golden Line wasn’t exactly how I thought it was going to be. Many days I would come home and cry about how the coaches or captains would yell at me. Whether it was when I would forget an eight-count of choreography or if I fell out of pirouettes, it was always something.

Even though I was on a team, I didn’t exactly feel like I was necessarily a part of the team. I was the weak link of the team. While I loved it, I struggled.

Nothing was better than stepping onto the football field during halftime at Friday night games and listening to parents cheer and clap and students roar in the Catpound.

Sophomore year I tried out again and didn’t make it. Defeated and crushed, I thought I improved immensely throughout the year. Apparently not enough. My confidence was shot.

I was worried that I ruined my chances of being a part of something the next three years of high school because of my lack of self-esteem. I felt like I buried myself in a hole filled with insecurities and self-doubt after being cut from a team.

I never wanted to take a risk and feel like a failure ever again.

It was stupid of me to think that; I know. I was one of those people who was too scared to get back up after falling down.

But my story of high school isn’t all sadness and failure.

I was fortunate to have met several friends who have come and gone along the way that taught me a lot about myself.

Thanks to some of them, I joined FCA, E!Crew, S.W.A.T. and the EHS-hub.

My second year on S.W.A.T. was my senior year. I remember when Coach Mike Thebeau and Mr. Keith Baremore asked me if I would be interested in being a leader.

I was shocked by the offer and taking it was one of the best decisions I made in high school.

I remember signing up for Journalism Writing and Reporting, the prerequisite to News Production after hearing about it through a friend. I thought that maybe I would be good at writing since I enjoyed doing it in Language Arts class.

Man, was I wrong.

Journalism was completely different than language arts. I felt like I was relearning how to write.

The rules of writing were different. No Oxford comma. (Don’t know what that is?) In journalism we use concrete nouns and vivid verbs and not adjectives and adverbs.

The interviewing process was intimidating. I had to walk into classes in session and try to extract someone I didn’t know to ask them questions but make it feel like a conversation and not an interrogation.

And the laws and ethics of journalism was just hard to accept. In journalism, I learned I could do all sorts of things adults had been telling me for years I couldn’t. It was hard to reprogram myself.

I struggled a bit in JWR, but–by the end of the semester–I felt confident in what I was doing.

I joined the EHS-hub my second semester of junior year. I thought it would be a walk in the park after the struggles I went through in JWR. I was ready to write that story about how old town Eureka struggled to come back after the historic 2015 flood.

Wrong…again.

It took me longer than I thought to write my first story. It was a container story on the contestants of the 2016 Mr. EHS Pageant.

Interviewing and photographing all these seniors was definitely a step outside my comfort zone. It was a test of my confidence. Looking back, I can say it helped me learn and grow.

But the Hub wasn’t always easy for me. Somedays I would feel discouraged about my writing not being good enough, and sometimes it just wasn’t.

I wrote many news stories, news briefs and storifies of mine that didn’t get published.

All those times I felt frustrated and discouraged, once again.

Would it have been easier to give up and quit? YES. In fact, that’s what I did, several times.

I would quit writing the stories I started or push the ideas I had out of my head all because I was still too worried I would fail. Of course if I fail, I wouldn’t learn.

It only took me until senior year to realize that I have to fail in order to succeed. Whether that’s in sports and clubs or in classes or things I am passionate about, it takes practice, hard work and A TON of perseverance.

I write this now as a senior about to graduate into a world of endless opportunities where I will take the confidence and the experiences I’ve had so far with me.

High school will always be a memorable time: the good and the bad have shaped me into who I am.

I hope to always be a Wildcat at heart.

So I want thank all the teachers (and even those students I avoided) who have helped me, guided me and encouraged me throughout high school, especially those people who challenged me. Without that struggle I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now.

I am ready to go out into that bigger world and fall down. Because now I know how to get back up.

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