Senior Column: Emma Lingo


Merry Schlarman

Emma will attend this University of Missouri for journalism this August.

College: University of Missouri 

Major: Journalism 

Dear 2024 Emma,

How are you doing? Things are pretty good right now (not counting the pandemic and all). I’m in our childhood bedroom and it’s a sunny day. A cool breeze is drifting through our open window while I’m sipping on warm tea and listening to retro-rock music at the old desk. I’ve been sitting here trying to think of what to say to you for some time now; nothing profound has popped into my head. Still, I hope my rudimentary advice pushes you forward.

I hope the past four years of college have been full of as many good memories as your four years of high school were. If college goes as planned, I know there were many spontaneous Barnes and Noble shopping trips, countless deep conversations with your friends and just the right amount of chaotic family FaceTimes. And if these last few years didn’t go how you wanted them to, then I hope you remember that college isn’t everything, just like high school wasn’t. You still have plenty of time left on Earth to make your mark. 

I hope you got to have all of your firsts and lasts just how you imagined them to be–if not better. Stuff your suitcase and do that travel abroad program. Work until the last minute, excel in what you’re good at and get those internships. Graduate with honors and then clack across the stage in fierce heels to secure the degree you earned. Give mom a hug afterward, and remind her how much you love her. You owe all of what you’ve accomplished to her. 

I hope you’re ready for the real world. College is over, and I know you’re not stupid enough to blow all the money from your miscellaneous minimum-wage jobs on graduate school right after undergrad. (Right?) Whether you go into journalism as planned or have an existential crisis and decide you want to teach, make sure you have a plan. Don’t dawdle. Remember how much you were itching to get out of the house at the end of senior year in high school; you don’t want to relive that. 

And lastly, stay positive, stay resilient. I hope you remember that I believe in you.


2020 Emma