By Rj Koval
Photos by Julian White-Davis
Expectations can be difficult for anyone who has trouble with how they view themselves. For journalist Sarah Armstrong, expectations are high.
Sarah’s involvement in the journalism staff at Timberline High School is no exception. She joined her sophomore year, and dove into the work, as she tends to do when something challenging looks her in the eye. Just months into the class, however, it became obvious that this year would be the beginning of a change for Sarah’s life.
It took an emotional article on synchronized swimming – of all things – to show her that she has value as a person. The article, “Water’s Edge,” focused on Bill May, widely perceived as the best male synchronized swimmer in the world, and his hope for male inclusion in the sport at the Olympics.
Sarah said that through all of May’s obstacles, “he still kept doing what he loved to the best of his ability. Which I think is great because even though he knew he couldn’t reach the point that he wanted to, he still continued his passion because he loved it.”
In the past, Sarah has attached herself to different academic interests, from science to theater, but ended up discarding them due to the criticism from other people. For example, she discarded her pursuit of the film industry because family members, as well as friends, told her that she would not be able to do anything with that kind of major.
However, May’s passion for what he loved inspired Sarah to discard the mindset she had locked herself into. “I was living for other people, and not myself,” she said. Realizing how much she hated her mindset became the first step to finding what she loves.
In the past two years, Sarah found that passion in journalism. Writing, publishing, and learning about so many different people appealed to her. Going into her third year of journalism as a senior, Sarah has become the assistant editor in chief for Timberline High School’s The Blazer. She has decided to pursue a major in English and will likely minor in Marine Biology when she reaches college.
Sarah feels she has already jumped some of the tallest hurdles in her life these past years. “What I was doing was what everyone expected of me and shaping myself to be the person that everyone thought I was. I didn’t like that and I didn’t like everything that I was doing,” Sarah said.