by Jess Sexton
Grub Street Managing Editor
Grub Street Design Liaison
When I was a sophomore in high school, I joined the yearbook team. I thought the class would be an easy ‘A’ and I looked forward to my rising GPA. But to my despair, on the first day of class, the advisor told us that this would be one of our most challenging courses. We had to stick to deadlines and themes, all while producing a memorable book for the entire school. The yearbook would be our baby. And our advisor was right.
We spent nine long months creating a book that captured our school’s spirit and personality. That doesn’t even include yearbook camp that we went to each summer; sounds nerdy, right? It totally was. But that’s where the book was conceived. We designed templates and narrowed down our theme. We stayed up all night writing mock-stories just to have them thrown away the next day.
But it was all worth it. Each year, our yearbook won best-in-show. We knew that if we poured ourselves into the creation of the book, we would be able to publish a masterpiece. I was on the yearbook team for three years; the two years I was a section editor, it was like a part-time job. We would stay after school every Thursday, order Old Bay cheesy fries, a soda, and a pizza from the local pizza shop and work until about nine o’clock.
After those long nights designing, writing, editing, crying, and cursing under our breaths, our baby was born. Published for the whole school to see. I was terrified. Would they like my writing? What about my photos? It didn’t matter now, the 400-page book was no longer in our hands.
There are many moments I’ll never forget. But the most memorable were from when I was complimented by my teachers who loved the stories written about their clubs or classes. I won awards for my photography. Had I actually made something that people enjoyed?
Because of moments like that, I knew I had to keep publishing. The feeling of starting an idea from scratch to having it in my hands was one of the best things I have ever experienced. I cannot wait to experience it once again with Grub Street.
The image above is "Flight" by Gillian Collins.