The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

EDITOR’S NOTE: If Only You Knew

What’s on the surface may seem perfect and pristine, but what lies beneath is full of surprises, uncertainties and unknowns.

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Atticus Finch once said, “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his perspective… until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

Every day we go to school with the same people. Some of them we’ve been going to school with since kindergarten, and others are new acquaintances. We talk to them every day, but sometimes we don’t bother to ask how they’re doing or how they’re feeling. We’re familiar with their faces, but we choose to be unfamiliar with the most important part of them—their stories. In the midst of stressful school assignments and hectic extracurriculars, we forget to stop and take the time to understand that we aren’t the only ones who struggle, or are successful, or experience loss. Everyone has a story worth telling, if only you knew where to start.

Two years ago, the 2014-2015 Tom Tom staff got the amazing opportunity to work with Esquire Writer-at-Large Mike Sager. While working with Sager, he gave us the chance to try and write one of Esquire’s well-known What it Feels Like pieces. Sager explained to our staff over FaceTime that the main point of these stories was to tell a story that made the reader feel what it would be like to be in that person’s shoes—a story that embodied the now famous words Harper Lee once wrote. He explained why these stories were so important: sometimes, people are too afraid to tell their own stories, and, in result, their voice gets silenced. That year, our staff discovered a soft spot for these pieces. After the first What if Feels Like magazine was published, we decided to include one in the back of every single issue moving forward. And these pieces are what inspired our now token mantra: give voices to the voiceless.

But this year, we decided to bring these stories back to life. Although our whole theme of this year’s magazine is based off of the idea of originality, we decided to bring back the most consistent and unoriginal part of our magazines: the What it Feels Likes. We decided that originality isn’t found on the surface; instead, it’s found deeper. It’s found in the words that people say and the aspects of their lives that go unnoticed. It’s found in the experiences that shape them into the person that you see every day. It’s found in the clichés we tend to limit one another to and within. But when this originality in each person gets lost in the chaos and redundancy of life, we forget how important it is to stop and appreciate the uniqueness of each story that this “small town” has to offer.

Considering that this is the largest magazine we have ever published, 118 pages to be exact—100 of which were able to be printed successfully by our in-house printer (the other 18 are featured online and on issuu.com/achstomtom), we decided that each story should be placed in it’s own section. These sections—Oppose, Reclaim, Involve, Gain, Imagine, Numb, Accept, Limited and Suffer—each tell a story within stories. We decided to focus on the different parts of people’s lives that make them who they are–the good and the bad. Much like our magazines this year have done and will continue to do, our section headers spell out the word “originals.” Each story in the sections somehow connect to that word, and, in all cases, our mission and identity as One|Sequoit.

Thank you for taking the time to read our magazine. While this magazine started by saying “If Only You Knew,” we hope in the process of you reading it leaves you knowing what it feels like to climb inside someone else’s skin and walk around in it.

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The student news site of Antioch Community High School.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If Only You Knew