The Purple Clarion

The Student News Site of Harrisburg High School

The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Cook to become Panther

Senior Baily Cook visits the Eastern Illinois University campus. Cook is majoring in English with hopes of becoming a published author.

Senior Baily Cook has decided to make her first post-graduation stop at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. 

After receiving a merit scholarship, Cook was invited to visit the campus. Upon arriving, the final decision to attend the school essentially made itself.

“At first I picked it because they gave me a scholarship, a merit scholarship, and I needed money for school,” Cook said. “Eventually, I visited EIU and as soon as I saw the campus I started crying because I felt so at home just by being there. I just felt so welcomed, like a gut feeling that I knew I’d love to go to school there.”

Though the campus was love at first sight for her, it wasn’t her first choice. She applied to several schools, with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign being just two of her considerations.

“I’ve wanted to go to UIUC since I was a freshman because I loved Champaign, and I really just loved the school,” Cook said. “With SIUE, I didn’t really have a reason. I just liked the school and thought it was cute.”

Applying for Eastern Illinois University was quite an easy process according to Cook.

“The application was really simple, like, didn’t have an essay or anything,” Cook said. “I had to send them both my dual credit and high school transcripts, but they got back to me fast and before I knew it I had my admissions letter.”

Although Cook is the only HHS graduating senior who will be attending EIU, she believes that they have great programs in place for what she wants to pursue.

“Right now my major is set to be English, but I’m thinking of changing it my sophomore year from English to English with creative writing emphasis because I want to pursue something with writing in the future and that’ll give me a push in the right direction,” Cook said.

One of the many things that EIU offers that appeal to Cook is its workshops. The workshops offered to English students involve meeting published writers and special writing classes.

“The English department sometimes sponsors workshops that will have professional writers come in and you can take classes to help with creative writing and show off your work with each other for like a whole week,” Cook said. “They also have a newspaper and you can get your work published in it.”

Cook’s passion has been in writing since she was in middle school. Though she started in a writing competition in fifth grade, she only began to take it seriously a bit later down the line.

“I’ve been seriously writing since the summer before eighth grade, but I first figured out I had a talent for it when I was in fifth grade when I wrote for the Young Authors Competition,” Cook said. “I wrote a quote—unquote chapter book and everyone who read it said it was really good for my abilities at the time.”

Since Cook has taken writing and made it less of a chore for school and more of a genuine passion, she hopes to one day be able to stand alongside some of her favorite authors.

“I just hope I’m one day able to write like the authors I look up to,” Cook said. “They’ve shown through their books that they work on their projects because they care about them, not because they just want the money. Writing has taught me how to look at the bigger picture both in my works and in life.”


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Whittleigh Trusty

Whittleigh Trusty is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her first year as a  member of the Purple Clarion. She is also a part of Art Club, Book Club, History Club, and Color Guard.

Whittleigh has a prominent interest in most sciences. She enjoys reading about all things related to the subject and watching videos about chemistry experiments. Following high school, she would like to attend SIU to major in organic chemistry.

“Student journalism is important because it allows students to express their thoughts and opinions in a way that is almost guaranteed to be heard.”

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