The Butterfly Effect

In this magazine we overthink everything… so you don’t have to.

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I may hate math, but I like to think of life as an equation. Each choice you make is then multiplied by yet another decision, then another; suddenly, you have an answer, even if it doesn’t really make sense. You get from point a to point b, somehow, and it may take some subtraction to go back and figure out what actually happened.

My senior year has been nothing short of chaotic. I took on a difficult workload when it comes to classes, and I have hours of homework every night. I have a job, and I was working so often that I forced myself to cut down my hours. Finally, I’m Editor-in-Chief. That has been my biggest obstacle.

Being Editor has been my goal ever since I joined The Tom Tom in my freshman year. I love almost everything
about it– our whirring printer, brainstorm sessions and our Dolly Parton cardboard cutout brighten my day.

Sometimes, though, I find myself staring at an InDesign document for hours on end. Everyone around me is having fun, but I’m busy with counting picas and placing pictures. I can feel frustrated and annoyed; I sometimes question why it feels like no one else cares. In those moments, I regret joining The Tom Tom at all.

If I had never joined The Tom Tom, I would be a significantly different person. I would have never discovered my love for writing, and my interview skills would be absolutely terrible. I wouldn’t have any Adobe skills, and my already lacking leadership skills would completely deteriorate. Fact is, I’ve learned a lot from The Tom Tom, and it’s hard to picture my life if I had never been a part of it.

My decision to join The Tom Tom has drastically changed and shaped my life, and the decisions of every single one of us have affected something, even if we can’t see it yet. With this idea in mind, our staff decided to dedicate this issue of The Tom Tom to the Butterfly Effect– the theory that actions and decisions, even small ones, can have a significant impact on the future. Staffers Megan Harding, Ashley Lubkeman and Julia Maton explore the effects of loss, tradition and environmental issues in “If That Person Were Still Here,” “If the Sequoits Go Silent” and “If We Spoke For the Trees.” The change of dress code protocol and how it impacts school culture is examined in “The Evolution of Dress Codes” by staffer Diya Schon. Finally, our staff editorial focuses on COVID-19, and how our school’s decisions have affected the trajectory of this year.

Our staff may overthink everything, but you definitely don’t have to. After all, that is not a super healthy way to live. While life may seem like an equation sometimes, constantly doing the math can be pretty exhausting. Just let things happen, hope for the best, and if things don’t go too well, try your best to find a solution.

As always, we hope that you enjoy.

The Tom Tom: The Butterfly Effect