My Time At Floral Park Memorial

The Shield's Editor-in-Chief Owen Conway gives his final thoughts before graduation


Owen Conway, Editor-in-Chief

“It feels like it was just yesterday” and “time flies when you’re having fun” are some of the most well-known clichés. But there is a reason why these sayings are clichés, and it is because they are generally true. As I am getting ready to graduate from Floral Park Memorial, I find myself looking back at the past six years that I have spent here. And looking back, it does feel like just yesterday that I was a 7th grader new to the school, nervous and excited for what was to come. Time really must fly when you are having fun too, because this school year and all of high school has gone by so fast, and it was a ton of fun.

When I first started out at FPM, I was more excited than nervous. I knew all of my friends would still be there, and I was bound to make many new ones. I quickly got used to navigating the building and I felt very happy to have become a Floral Park Knight. Perhaps the best and most amazing part of beginning our time at FPM was the speed with which all of the kids from JLCS and FPBS became friends. Going into 7thgrade, I was a bit nervous about the prospect of being classmates with a whole other elementary school. But it was almost as if we all already knew each other, and to this day I look back and marvel at how quickly I bonded with some of my best friends.

By freshman year, we had all gotten to know each other and learned a great deal about FPM. Now it was time to start the new journey of high school. As each year passed, classes became more difficult and being studious became more and more important. We took on AP classes with the hopes of getting college credits, even though college seemed like some abstract idea in the distant future. Each year our teachers stressed the importance of developing strong study habits so that we can train ourselves to become responsible, hard-working and diligent students in college. The impending idea of college seemed far away until junior year, the proclaimed “most important year of high school.” As all of my peers discussed starting their college visits and what they planned to put on their college applications, I realized that I had done very little in the way of extracurricular activities at FPM. So one afternoon I decided to attend a meeting for The Shield, since I liked to write and knew my favorite teacher was in charge of it.

I published a few stories as a junior staff writer and by the end of the year I had earned the spot as next editor-in-chief. What had started out as a desire to add something to my college applications had become one of the best decisions of my high school career. I felt more involved with FPM than I ever had before.

Returning to school the next September as a senior felt strange and great. For years we had looked at the seniors as the leaders of the school, and could not wait until we got out turn to be seniors, and that time was finally here. At the end of our senior year, I can confidently say that it was by far my favorite year of high school, and the reason for that is that I feel like I have grown even closer to all of my fellow classmates. Yes, I have been with them for six years, but this year provided opportunities to bond even more as a class. From our last Spirit Day, to Senior Week, to Senior Cut Day, and even to events yet to come like prom and graduation, our final year at FPM brought us all a little closer and made us all appreciate our school a little more, and how fortunate we are to have gone through this amazing journey together. And even though the next amazing journey of our lives will lead us in different directions, I will always remember and appreciate that all our journeys started together at Floral Park Memorial.