Senior goodbye: Reeling it in


Shae Daugherty

TRL’s Grant Vogel has made videos and podcasts throughout his life. Along with Austin Keefer, he has relaunched the website’s “Reel Critical” podcast.

Editor’s note: Senior goodbye columns reflect on senior staffers’ experiences through high school and allow them an opportunity to share what they have learned with the school. Each senior Red Ledger staffer presents his or her personal perspective. One staffer’s column will be posted every day until all are published.

High school, for me, was not as excruciating as people let on. At times, there were assignments that took a lot out of me, but honestly it wasn’t anything worth tearing my hair out (except for having to take an anatomy exam while 85% of class didn’t have to because of my one too many absences that were all excused, but whatever). All of the bad is overshadowed by the good. I have some great memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.  

My biggest regret of high school was moving too fast. Once an assignment or situation passed, I moved straight on to the next one. I didn’t live in the moment. Sure, most of the moments at the time were “boring” or “not interesting,” but that’s because I didn’t make them interesting.

I’ve been making podcasts with my friends since fourth grade, and I’ve continued throughout my entire school experience. Essentially the videos were short podcasts featuring my friends and I talking about various current events as immature high schoolers would. The podcast videos were a series we would deem, “Waking Up with Ryan” (which in hindsight is quite absurd because no one in the group was named Ryan). Every other month or so about four or five of us would gather at our lunch table and start talking. But after “Waking Up with Ryan,” I would later make a another actual podcast without any corresponding video called, “Reel Critical” with my friend Austin.

We also would make short films. One of these short films was called “Trashman.” In the short film, my friend Josh sees a poster of Danny DeVito wearing his “Trashman” costume from the show, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” This results in Josh to go in a frenzy and eventually jumps into a dumpster behind the school. The film doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but perhaps that is the reason why we loved it. Instead of studying or participating in extracurricular activities, my friends and I are jumping into dumpsters. That about sums up my high school experience in a nutshell.

But because of those videos, I don’t remember the small things. I don’t remember about 75 percent of my classes in freshman and sophomore year. In class, if I was learning a subject I didn’t find engaging, I tried to make it interesting by creating my own video scenarios or stories. In my AP World History class sophomore year, we were given the task of creating a video about a certain time period for a major grade. Instead of being clever with the concepts given to us, my classmates and I made a violent action film with random slides of information sprouted throughout. “Dying to Learn” was the name of that video. Pretty clever, I know. I’m pretty funny. But ultimately, if the subject I was learning that year didn’t feature me creating a video for that class, I most likely didn’t retain any information at all.

But if had to pass on some sort of advice to someone coming to high school, it would be to remember each day as it was and what the next day can be. If there’s one class you just hate extremely, then suck it up for 45 minutes and try to learn something. If you learn one thing in that reviled class, then you’ve done something right.

Also, make sure your teachers remember you. Not all of them, but the ones you can personally connect with. If there’s a teacher who teaches the most uninteresting class in the world, try to connect with them. What else do you like to do? What is your favorite film? Why this subject? Is your life as boring as the subject you teach? Maybe don’t ask that last one.

But rising high schoolers should also catalog some of their favorite memories at school. Instead of recording everything on Snapchat, record some regular day-in-the-life videos of you at high school. You will be very thankful and nostalgic in a few years after college. They are definitely worth the watch.