Senior Reflection: Mariana Fikse

Senior Reflection: Mariana Fikse

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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.

This author can be reached via email.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

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By |2018-11-07T11:01:35+00:00May 16th, 2018|Commentary, Opinions|5 Comments

About the Author:

Mariana Fikse
“God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile” – Max Lucado. Senior Mariana Fikse developed a passion for agriculture and dairy science while growing up on a family dairy farm. She plans to major in nursing with a minor in dairy science. Fikse works long hours on the dairy over summer and school vacations but is also passionate about spending her time to help others. Volunteering with Sister to Sister gives Fikse the opportunity to mentor younger students while still maintaining a 4.0+ G.P.A. As last year’s varsity girl’s tennis captain, Fikse learned what was required to be a team leader, something that supports her role on The Feather. During her time on staff, The Feather earned two CSPA Gold Crowns and one NSPA Online Pacemaker. A third year of journalism likely includes more challenges ahead, but Fikse looks forward to facing them with the rest of the team, this year as co-editor-in-chief. When not enjoying a good book or hanging out with her siblings, you can find Fikse riding quads or driving a jeep around back roads with her cousins. Confident in her writing and leadership abilities, Fikse anticipates success in her senior year of high school.


  1. Ed Fikse Jr May 16, 2018 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Mariana you have really grown into a beautiful lady and it has shown inside and out.
    It is such a blessing to see everything you have done and who you have become.
    As I have been told by one of your classmates , you really are a shining light for those around you.

  2. Sharyl De Jong May 16, 2018 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Mariana, I am so proud of you! You have grown so much as a journalism and person with such grace and beauty. I can tell the Feather and FC has blessed you, as I know you have them. I’m so excited for your future. It is so bright! Go light the world! Love you. 💖

  3. Marie Fikse May 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    We are so proud of you Mariana ! You have made the most of your opportunities at Fresno Christian and we are thankful for your years here. Love you!

  4. Melody Fikse Hettinga May 16, 2018 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Mariana, what an amazing article and amazing young woman you are! Wishing you many blessings and wonderful new adventures as you begin this new chapter in your life.

  5. Terry Boertje May 16, 2018 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    🌺 Hey Mariana, Wow! Another great Article. You continue to amaze me with each article you’ve written and I can see how much you’ve grown through the years! The Feather, as well as your family, church and school, have all been such a big part in shaping the godly young woman you are. Can’t believe you’ll be graduating soon. Blessings, love and congratulations to you as you seek what God has in store for you at Cal Baptist University. Love you! Uncle Ed & Aunt Terry.

    P.S. Your sister, Julia, has a great future in photography!!! Amazing! 😊

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