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DeanI know that I’ve written a lot of cheesy and clichéd articles. This one will also be cheesy and clichéd. But it’s my last article, so it’s expected and completely excusable — or so I’m hoping.

This is the end of yet another experience. This is goodbye.

Writing these articles started off as something that scared me. I always felt a lot of pressure to pick a good topic, and then I worried after sending in my article. I worried about the reactions I would receive.

As the youngest in my family, I’m comfortable being in the background. I have moments in the spotlight, but writing this column is different. This wasn’t a one-time event. By the time people would forget about an article, the next one would appear in the paper. That terrified me for months. Even now, as I write my last article, I’m still a little terrified.

As I wrote more, I was reintroduced to my love and passion for writing. I pushed past my fear of judgment, because that wasn’t what was important. What was important to me was that I bring important issues to people’s attentions and that I share my ideas.

I forgot that as I wrote for the community, I was also writing for myself.

I always seem to learn more about myself through my writing, whether it’s as I write or months later when I look back on it. That’s why I hate to say goodbye to this experience.

I could tell you about the real-world experience that I got, and how I felt all grown-up, and how it gave me the drive to write even more and the courage to add to my dreams. All those things are important, and I value the opportunity that allowed each one to happen. I’m incredibly thankful for all those things, don’t get me wrong. But the passion for writing that was renewed is something that I couldn’t have found anywhere else but here. I found it here every time I sat down to write about my ideas. I found it every time I saw my words and ideas permanently printed, there forever. I found it in every article, every word and every idea.

I’d like to take a little space to say a quick “thank you” and express true appreciation to a few people: Mr. Fitz for getting me in this incredibly stressful and wonderful mess to begin with, my family and friends that gave me random ideas when I started running out and Kate Hoots and everyone else at the Wilsonville Spokesman that graced me with this personal learning experience.

This last article is hopefully my best, because I like to think that I’ve grown as I’ve written throughout my year. However, to me, this article is the worst and the hardest one to write, because I must realize, as I reflect on my experience, that the experience is over.

Despite it being over, I will treasure my time and take my discovery into my future, where it will remain with me for the rest of my life. Sharing my ideas in this way is something that I’ve always wanted. And now I’ve done it.

Check that off the list.

Perrin Dean is a 2014 graduate of Wilsonville High School. She served as a student columnist for the Spokesman during the past school year. She will be attending Western Oregon University this fall to study American Sign Language interpretation.

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