Olivia Condell, Editor in Chief '21-'22

By Olivia Condell, Editor in Chief ’21-’22

Attending New York University

When I was a little girl, my favorite question to be asked was “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My favorite answer was to say a doctor in a marching band. Sometimes, it varied and I would say a worker at Dunkin Donuts, so I could munch on all of the sweets, or I’d casually steal my mom’s fuchsia lipstick and claim I would be a makeup artist. 

As I got older, this question became harder to answer. What did I want to be? I had no hobbies that I could turn into a career or any strong attachment to a particular subject matter. That was until my freshman year of high school.  I had always glamourized artists and writers, envious of their creative, thought-provoking work. I joined the newspaper, hoping I could write beyond my English assignments and hone in on my skills. 

I too glamourized the life of a journalist; constantly traveling, interviewing strangers, writing opinionated columns about politics, fashion, art. I loved being a journalist, until it came time to write my first article. Then, I feared being one. I remember rereading my initial emails to sources about ten times before hitting send, painfully listening back to unimportant questions I asked teachers, or sitting at a blank computer screen for hours clueless as to how to write a proper lede. 

Being on The Courant was an anxious endeavor, but I kept writing because of that discomfort. I was finally passionate about something. Four years later, I am certain I want to be a part of this industry when I grow up. 

The Courant has been an integral part of my high school journey that shaped who I am as a student and a friend. It has taught me humility, determination, and courage, which I am certain I will bring to my college experience. I learned to find my voice as a writer, to be kind to those with different opinions, and to be honest as an editor. 

Without the enthusiasm and passion of my former English teachers, I would’ve never been inspired to continue writing. To Mrs. Vogt, your class was a great challenge, one that always pushed me to study harder and read more analytically. To Mrs. Cisek, I am forever grateful for your belief in my work. Your classes allowed me to explore my creativity and I cherish all that I have learned. To Mrs. Semple, not only did you introduce me to the world of literature and journalism as a freshman, but your love for this subject area has inspired me to continue down this path in college. Your work ethic and deep care for The Courant is admirable and I am lucky to have spent my senior year alongside you in the Publishing Suite.

Even though I have declared what I want to be when I grow up, it was my time at Commack High School that determined who I want to be when I grow up. From making music in the band room and dressing up for spirit days to walking into my favorite class and chatting in the Publishing Suite, this building holds my fondest memories and I am proud The Courant allowed me to create even more special moments. 🔳