By Tejaswi Adhikari

Music, laughter, conversations surrounded me, as I stood on the edge of the nighthawk cage. My heart filled with pride for a second, pride of being a fellow nighthawk, and then it filled back with the anxiety that had filled my heart for the past week. I clutched the rally schedule tighter as people start to flow in, dancing to the music. Through the crowd of burgundy, silver, and blacks I see Mr. Eick, my principal, walking towards me.

My heart accelerated, and ignoring my throbbing feet, I walked halfway to meet him. As soon as I reached him, he leaned in towards me and said “This is your show; we run it how you want to.” With these simple yet terrifying words he left me with yet another burden to carry on my aching shoulders. You see, I had been planning the welcome back rally, for about two weeks now, the last week being the most chaotic, running around trying to get all last minute details down perfect.

This was my first time planning a rally, and I wanted it to be perfect, so I had decided to take on most of the responsibilities, telling myself that the only way things would get done is if I did it myself. Two weeks after, on the day of the rally, I cursed myself as I woke up that morning. As I rushed to school, and to the leadership room, I had my rally schedule in my hand, trying to fit all the games and performances in that mere 45 minutes.

The senior song plays, and I was snapped out of my memory and I rushed into position, as the all the seniors run in to the gym. I watched the seniors stop in the middle and dance, all wearing their crowns, and shirts with pride. They made their way to their share of the bleachers and as Mr. Eick lead each of the classes on a spirit competition, my aching shoulders and throbbing feet disappeared and I was only left with the content and pure bliss of knowledge that our leadership class made this happen. At that moment, I truly understood the saying The fruits of hard labor are always the sweetest.”