It’s Hard to Imagine: Helena’s 30

Helena Lara, Sports Editor

It’s hard to imagine myself at 14. I don’t even remember much of freshman year. Or sophomore year. A happy blur of evolving, of innocence and confusion. But memories stand out amongst the blur, and people stand out even more. Nia, Aaron, Sophia, Elan, Trevor — names that became part of a patchwork in me as I grew. That was my first Newspaper class. I thought I would be learning about journalism, but I was not even slightly aware I would become a journalist. And a new person. 

I know the Liberator has made me the writer I am today, but it has also made me more than a writer — the paper shaped and inspired my photography, art, design, thinking and analysis. Above all, it was a space for my mind to wander. I had no bounds on what I could think about, discuss and write. The paper was a space to share it all. I think there’s something extremely valuable in publishing a polished product as a teenager, forging my opinions as I forged myself and having these opinions change as I changed myself. Adobe InDesign pushed my creativity and opened to me the world of design. People pushed my ideas and worldview, and writing and editing pushed not only the complexity of my texts, but of myself. I was exposed to fashion, art, politics and literature, and was inspired to delve into it all myself. Writing and the people it fostered were an important focus, a different one from the day in, day out of grades and toxicity that results when hundreds of academically competitive kids are put into a little building together. 

I have a couple distinct ideas of where I’d like to be when I grow up careerwise. Maybe I’m a lawyer, making money and helping people. Or maybe I’m designing and analyzing markets, having majored in business or something like that. But throughout these projections, writing and people have to be constants. I want to be journaling, thinking and exploring the world. Making connections with people and ideas different from my previous experiences.