Final Words – Liz Nelson

Just a little under four years ago, I began a journey that I will never forget. One that, in all honesty, I will miss. I surprise myself when I say that, too. My time here at MN has taught me an array of things, a few of which are confidence and the ability to adapt quickly to changes. I realized very quickly that high school is unfortunately not like your average Hollywood setup.

I’ve had an incredibly fun high school career, writing for The Hoofbeat for a year and a half, and being News Editor this past year. I also was a part of the track team, throwing an 8.8 pound metal ball and a 2.2 pound disc.

Outside of high school,  I stayed busy. I learned a lot about myself through serving in numerous leadership positions within Civil Air Patrol. I have been on mission trips to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and to the Dominican Republic. In the DR, I learned how to speak a little Spanish and how to truly appreciate everything in life. It showed me a side of people I had never seen: a side in which people that have next to nothing are willing to give up so much for others.

I still think about my time in the mountains of the Dominican Republic often, forever wishing I was back in my home of Jarabacoa. I then joined the Army Reserves as a prison guard, which helped me create a backup plan.

Some of the lessons I learned in my endeavors outside of the classroom transferred to my career here at MN, especially in regards to the  Hoofbeat.  One thing I learned in the DR is that I have family that I am not related to by blood, but by the love that we share. But one thing remains the same throughout the two. Both the DR and The Hoofbeat gave me a sense of belonging and another family.

Throughout my life journey I learned how to be more understanding, how to put others before myself, and how to be diligent and hardworking.

I believe that this is what I brought to The Hoofbeat (besides getting off track every now and then). It has been an honor to serve on the staff for the past year and a half, and it was, quite frankly, one of the best decisions I have made in my high school career.

As I worked my way through Intro. to Photojournalism, I didn’t feel as though that was my spot. When I took Intro to Journalism my junior year, I discovered I had a knack for journalistic writing. I love to meet new people and go and tell their story. I knew in that class I had found where I was supposed to be.

The Hoofbeat changed my life because it gave me a sense of purpose and belonging within the masses at MN. It still gives me a sense of pride when I see the stories that I put an ample amount of work into being read by students.

I have found a mini family in this journalism classroom. They never fail to make me laugh even on the bad days. So when I think back to the middle of the first semester during my junior year when Mrs. Crotzer suggested I join The Hoofbeat, I will be forever thankful.