Sincerely, Sumner: thank you and goodnight
In the sixth and final installment of Sincerely, Sumner, Columns Editor Sumner Wallace '20 says goodbye (for now).
May 17, 2020
Thank you for listening.
When I write a “Sincerely, Sumner,” it’s usually because I am feeling some-type-of-way and the words just pour out. It is a therapeutic exercise for me. I hope that for some of you, the words I wrote were the words you needed to hear, and that at the very least they were relatable or funny, if not therapeutic to you as well.
I am incredibly grateful to have been given this platform for my voice. Being a part of the West Side Story has helped me grow as a person and as a journalist, and I don’t know who I’d be without the experiences it afforded me.
I still remember the first opinion I ever wrote for Foundations of Journalism. In the article I declared that golf was not a sport, bashing everything from the effort it takes to swing a club to the bland attire worn by its players. It was quite honestly awful and I’m not sure how I got from there to being the columns editor.
But here I am, talking to you today, and hopefully my writing (and my logic) is not as horrendous as it used to be.
I don’t know if “Sincerely, Sumner” will continue with me to my next paper, or become a WSS exclusive, but either way I will keep writing — I know this is a joy to hear for my non-existent fans. Maybe someday I’ll trademark the name and become the next Oprah. For now I’ll just say this: Thank, you. It’s been a pleasure keeping up this correspondence with you. Signing off for now.
For the seniors
I am caught between two worlds. The one world I’m leaving (high school) and the other world I’m entering (college). Everyday I feel like the rope in a tug of war, AP tests and assignments at one end of me, housing applications and roommate searches at the other, my mind constantly being jerked back and forth by those two realities.
Now, I can only assume this is what all the other seniors before me have felt (and presumably what many of you feel) but the circumstances in which we are all experiencing whatever feelings we are having is much different.
People keep asking me if I’m excited for college, and I’d be lying if I said I was. This is not to say I haven’t been excited earlier in the year or won’t be excited later on, but right now I’m just overwhelmed. It’s one thing to experience drastic change surrounded by friends; it’s another to do it while stuck inside with a trimester’s worth of unfinished business and lost opportunities taunting you.
The nostalgia, and whatever one calls nostalgia for something that hasn’t happened, has been hitting me hard. The senior recognition ceremony was kind of boring as it usually is, but I found myself sad that I couldn’t be kind of bored in Arganbright Auditorium, rolling my eyes at one of Triple G’s jokes, surrounded by people that I’ve spent four years of my life with.
I could list all the other things I’m missing, but no doubt you are missing the same things and probably don’t need a reminder.
It seems safe to say that we were all lying when we said we were done with high school and ready to move on — turns out the BS extends beyond our assignments. COVID-19 has made it abundantly clear that we did actually need and desperately want those last few months of school — not just for the education, but for the people and the place. I can’t help but imagine myself zoning out in class or walking those ceilingless halls again. It’s no secret that most class work is less than fun, but it sure beats quarantine.
Hopefully these tiny realizations that are making us all nostalgic and sad right now will make us grateful in the future. Hopefully our generation will never take the things we depend on day to day for granted ever again. I don’t know that any of that will happen, but at least for now I am grateful for all of you, fellow seniors, and I wish you all the luck in the future. It sucks to be graduating without you.