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Commentary: End of year wrap-up

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Senior Mariana Fikse reflects on her high school career and will attend California Baptist University in the fall.

Since freshman year, Mariana Fikse has looked forward to the day when she would don her hat and gown and walk across the stage to receive my diploma. However, with graduation only a week away, the reality that I am about to move on from high school is beginning to sink in.

During the past four years, I have grown to love both this campus, its teachers and my classmates. While I look toward the future with excitement, I am sad to leave behind the fast-paced world of high school.

It’s hard to believe that my time on this campus is coming to a close. It seems like only yesterday when I took a tour of the Fresno Christian campus for the first time in eighth grade. At the time, it all seemed overwhelming, and I didn’t feel prepared to start my life in high school. However, one thing that stood out to me on that tour was The Feather’s journalism lab.

Deciding to attend Fresno Christian wasn’t necessarily an easy decision. Living nearly an hour away, I knew I would sacrifice much of my time traveling to and from campus. However, due to the recommendation of others, I decided to attend FC for high school.

As I reflect on my time spent at FC, there are a few things that stand out; the wonderful people, the academics and, of course, The Feather.

 Towards the end of my freshman year, I was approached by Feather adviser Greg Stobbe about joining The Feather. Although I initially turned down the idea, I decided to look into it on my own time. I was very impressed with the site and decided to give journalism a shot, unaware of what I was getting myself into.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Fikse ends her third year on The Feather journalism team as an editor-in-chief.

The summer before my sophomore year, I attended a ‘Feather Bootcamp’, which essentially gave new staffers a crash course of everything we needed to know as a member of the journalism staff. This preceded a two-week instruction session in which Stobbe gave us additional guidance in writing articles.

The first article assigned to me was covering the Hume Lake rough fire in 2015. I never imagined I would have to interview people outside of our campus, much less as a first year staff member. With shaking hands, I dialed the number of Hume Lake’s director, praying he wouldn’t answer so that I wouldn’t have to carry on with my interview.

But of course, he answered. Despite my fear of interviewing a stranger, the advice I had received from Stobbe proved to be enough to keep my anxious nerves at bay. In no time I completed my first article and was ready for my next assignment.

Fast forward three years, and I have now written over eighty articles for The Feather. Journalism has not only sharpened my writing skills but also built my confidence and interviewing abilities. Before joining The Feather, I typically didn’t venture too far outside my comfort zone. However, I have interviewed so many students, faculty members and notable members of the community, that pushing myself outside my comfort zone has become routine.

Trips to New York City, interviewing World War II veterans, speaking with the former president of Mexico and meeting NFL quarterback Derek Carr are just a few of the amazing things that I would have never had the opportunity to do had I not made the decision to join The Feather.

The journalism staff has become a second family for me, and I can’t imagine what life will be like next year without them. As one of the editor-in-chiefs, I watch staffers grow into experienced journalists, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each and every one of them.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

She participates in other activities besides journalism including tennis, softball and CSF.

Of course, The Feather isn’t the only thing I will miss about Fresno Christian. Some of my most treasured memories from my four years of high school have come from playing sports. From the tennis and basketball courts to the softball diamond, I’ve spent so much of my time bonding with my friends over sports.

The tennis team in particular has a special place in my heart. From ice cream runs after practice to close tie-break matches, I’ve grown to love both the sport and my team. Tennis is unique in that it is both an individual sport and a team sport. It has taught me to work with teammates while also doing everything I can to win my match.

When not at sports practice, I tried to involve myself in other activities such as homecoming float building, powderpuff, NOTS filming and CSF. If I could give advice to younger students, it would be this; don’t be afraid to get involved, and always take the time to spend time with your friends when you have the available time.

I would like to thank all of my teachers, especially Stobbe and Kori Friesen, and my parents for providing me with the opportunity to attend Fresno Christian. I will never forget all of the memories and lessons learned here.

Mariana Fikse will be attending California Baptist University in the fall and plans on majoring in nursing.

For more articles, read Senior Reflection: Cayla Rivas and Senior Reflection: Juliana Lozano and/or a recent article by our student body president, read COLUMN: Roman Endicott says inspiring endeavors ahead. For one of last year’s senior reflection, read Senior Reflection: Jennifer King.

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