Cmatt out: Reflecting on Tower experience

Charlie Matthews '20, Staff Writer

I entered Grosse Pointe South as a boy, and four years later, I’m leaving as a man.
I entered South measuring in at about 5 feet 2 inches, wearing Vineyard Vines, khakis and Yeezys, and leaving measuring just under 6 feet with a much more refined sense of style and personality.
I’d be lying if I said that I’m the most accomplished student in the Class of 2020, or the head of The Tower (see Imran Siddiqui or Anne Muawad), but both the school itself and The Tower have helped me blossom into the person that I am today, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, okay, maybe I’d make a few adjustments, but I can’t say I have any real regrets.
South is the place where I met a large number of my closest friends today, who I know I’ll have a bond with for the rest of my life. From having “fight nights” on the weekends with the cross country team after meets, the notorious hang outs at Dom Dulac’s house, recording goofy hip-hop music with my friends in the musical group “BBF”, to suiting up for the Pacers, our rec league basketball team, a massive amount of my favorite memories were made in high school thanks to South, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have been there.
I also made some very fond memories as a member of The Tower newspaper, which obviously is publicizing this column.
As a first-year staffer, the highlight was to be mentored by the older kids and hang out with them in class. It was pretty much my first time actually working with kids more than a year older than me, so I feel like that prepared me to actually work in the real world with authority. I had my fair share of missed deadlines that year, and it was pretty scary hearing it from them every time, so I’d say my biggest takeaway from my first year was how to manage time more efficiently.
During my second year, I’d like to think I established my role on The Tower, which was to write my articles with some personality and flair, and help out my peers when needed. During my three years of journalistic experience, I discovered that the aspect of journalism that I enjoyed the most was to write reviews and columns. I’ve had people tell me over these three years that they genuinely enjoyed reading my work and had fun reading them from start to finish, and that to me was the most rewarding aspect of The Tower, and I feel that I discovered that during my second year.
Now, the current year that I enjoyed the most while I was on The Tower; my third year on staff. Instead of working with older kids, there’s now more of an emphasis on being a good example for the younger kids to look at. This year was the first time I felt that I had any kind of seniority upon my peers, and I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself the top person on staff to model yourself after, but the fact that others may be looking at me that way inspired me to change my work habits for my fellow padawans. This year was probably the most fun I ever had in Tower (Shoutout Friyay!).
Overall, while the journalistic aspect of being a part of The Tower taught me a lot, I’d honestly say that the most important life experience I took away from the class was how to efficiently work with your peers, and what it’s like to have other people your age still having real authority over you. The Tower and Grosse Pointe South have given me a boatload of fond memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life, as well as prepare me well for the real world.