Senior column: Grace Marcus

No+one+gets+through+high+school+without+some+sort+of+struggle.

Sophia Beckmann

No one gets through high school without some sort of struggle.

College: Washington University in St. Louis

Major: Neuroscience/Psychology

Between sixth grade and freshman year of high school, I went to five different schools. Throughout all the new schools, uniforms, friends groups and tears, one thing remained consistent. My family? Yes, fortunately. Friends? Somewhat. But above all? The New York Times (NYT) Daily Crossword.

It started with the Daily Mini, a puzzle that rarely exceeds six-by-six letters, which I could usually finish in under a minute. The Mini was a gateway drug to the full size puzzle, which starts out small with easy clues on Monday and gets progressively larger and more difficult throughout the week. 

When I first began doing it in middle school, I could usually complete the Monday puzzle with a little assistance from my parents. Over the years, I’ve graduated to finishing most of the Wednesday puzzles. The Thursday is usually a stretch, and the Friday escapes me. But I stay determined, and someday, I’ll finish the Sunday. 

No one gets through high school without some sort of struggle. My philosophy has been  to find one thing, however small, to look forward to each day.”

Listen, I know doing the crossword puzzle every day makes me sound like a huge nerd, but I can live with that. For me, the NYT crossword is an escape. When I transferred to KHS and spent the first week eating lunch alone in a bathroom stall, at least I had the crossword to keep me company. Working on the puzzle instead of the notes packet I was supposed to be filling out got me through many Monday morning APUSH lectures — the entertainment saved me from boredom, and the accomplishment of completing it took my mind off the DBQ I had just failed. Now, one of my favorite parts of the day is sitting in my car each morning before the bell, working on the crossword while my younger brother works on it beside me (nerdiness runs in the family). 

No one gets through high school without some sort of struggle. My philosophy has been  to find one thing, however small, to look forward to each day. For me, opening the crossword each morning to a fresh puzzle, each little white square promising a new and exciting challenge (and the little jingle it sings when you finally fully complete it) has brought a little bit of joy to even the worst of my high school days.