Really and truthfully, goodbye


News Editor Lillian Martin (’18) poses with award certificates at the FSPA banquet in Orland. There, Martin was recognized as a finalist for the 2018 Writer of the Year award.

Lillian Martin, News Editor

Editor’s Note: Lillian Martin is a three-year journalism student, joining both the newspaper staff and the yearbook staff her sophomore year. After leading the newspaper staff to a bronze ranking in the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) her junior year, she was named News Editor of the newspaper for her final year on staff. During her senior year, Lillian helped the staff earn an FSPA gold ranking for and a high silver ranking for the Knight Writers newspaper. She was also named a 2018 FSPA Writer of the Year Finalist, one in three in the state of Florida. And to finish her high school career, she was awarded the Mass Communications Silver Knight Award at Robinson High School. Lillian plans to continue journalism at Florida State University.

I’m going to be honest– I’ve tried writing this a handful of times. Each time had a different approach, a different angle. I’m not at all sure of how to write this kind of goodbye; I feel like it’s hard to encompass just how much the past four years at Robinson and the past three years in journalism have meant to me. If I’ve learned anything from journalism though, it’s to be real and to be true. So, that’s what I’ll do.

My first year here, I was full of fear. Fear of upperclassmen, fear of teachers, fear of speaking out, fear of going through my whole high school career without accomplishing anything. I wasn’t a part of much, I didn’t play any sports, and my outstanding talent of being quiet left me with few friends. Then I joined journalism, and everything changed.

Martin stands with fellow RHS journalists Athena Crews (’18), Zjala Phelps (’18) and advisor Nancy Oben at the 2018 FSPA banquet.

I found a love and passion for reporting, fueled even more-so by the people I surrounded myself with and my amazing advisor Ms. Joanie Oben. I broke out of my shell, and became the person I am today. Instead of coming to school full of fear, I came to school full of excitement of what was to come. I always had something to look forward to, even if it was something as trivial as laughing at Ms. Oben’s dancing. I found myself becoming more and more fond of the work that journalists do, the work that becomes the voice for the voiceless. Knowing that I was a part of that, that I was contributing to something that meant so much to me, is what changed my whole high school experience.

Photo Joanie Oben
Martin poses for a picture with Vin Diesel at FSPA (2017) with fellow newspaper members Athena Crews (’18), Mariano Hernandez (’18) and Macy McClintock (’19).

This past year, while full of too many bittersweet lasts, was the most incredible year of my life. I was able to pursue that same passion for journalism on an even larger scale, and was able to accomplish so much with the help of the peers I admire (looking at you, Anna). While it wasn’t perfect, I have come to learn that nothing ever is. This year has taught me to accept what I can’t have, and cherish what I do. And oh, how I cherished.

Martin and Anna Thomas (’18) pose for a picture after the staff successfully published for the 51st day in a row on RHSToday.

It was so incredible to be able to see both print and online grow and exceed into what they are now. A countless amount of stories published, four beautiful issues and a staff that I’m so immensely proud to be a part of; that’s what this year gave me.  

Through all the memories made, all the laughs (trust me, there were a lot of laughs), the new friends and the old, and the stories I was able to tell, I found a home within Robinson; especially in Room 112. I lost any fear I ever had, and replaced it with hope and happiness and enjoyment and any other positive adjective you can think of. I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.

Thank you to everyone who made these past four years such a great experience, and a special thank you to both the newspaper and yearbook staffs. You all accomplished something great together, stories and pictures and bothersome captions that will stay with the school forever. I’m so proud to be a part of the 112 family, and so sad to say goodbye. And that’s the whole truth.