Thank You Seniors: Anna Sheehan ’21

Anna Sheehan is a blazing force at Montrose, destined for the stage and beyond. Singer, actor, writer, editor— these are just a few of her specialties. Friend, sister, classmate, student- she brightens up your day with her beaming presence of positivity and good nature. Over the past seven years at Montrose, Anna has taken the world by storm not just at Montrose, but also at competitions, events, concerts, and more. Especially these past few years at the Looking Glass, she has bloomed as an editor and has been an essential member of the team who you could always count on for getting an article in by the deadline.

Now a senior, we took a little time to sit with Anna and reflect with her about the years gone by and what is on the horizon for her in her college years. 

We asked Anna our first question:

How does it feel being a senior? (Pre-App Deadlines vs Post-App Deadlines)

Senior year, according to Anna, is very much divided into the BEFORE and AFTER: before app deadlines and after the app deadlines. She said that during the “Before” chapter, there was “lots of stress,” lots of writing, and lots of emotions. 

But during the “After,” Anna said, “Now that it’s not really in my control anymore, I feel this relief.” Once the seniors have submitted all of their applications, it’s finally off of their hands. 

Anna said: “God will get me where I need to go.” Once you’ve done what you can do, all there is left is to hope and to pray.

Our second questions were related to Anna’s time at the Looking Glass:

What is one of your favorite articles that you’ve written?

This was definitely a hard one for Anna, and we felt terrible and shrunk from the glare she sent to us for asking such an impossible question.

Anna said: “My favorite articles from the Looking Glass aren’t the ones I’ve written! It’s the ones I’ve read and edited!

Anna decided to talk about her article about singing at a service of March for Life (and she notes that this is only ONE of her favorite articles that she’s seen in the Looking Glass). It was right before Covid-19 hit the United States. Anna said that she was “able to lend my voice to an hour of prayer and reflect.” A lovely piece featuring Anna’s talents!

Why did you decide to join the newspaper?

A long time ago, 6th-grade-aged Anna Sheehan arrived at her first Looking Glass meeting, because she liked writing! She went to the meeting…

—and hated it. 

Kidding kidding! Hate might be a strong word—

She did not feel welcomed. “I did not feel welcomed by the high schoolers. I didn’t feel like I was making friends, and there was not the energy there is now.” Mrs. Whitlock encouraged her to stay on, and it was only until 10th grade that Anna came back as an editor.

“I can’t believe I waited that long because now I love it.” Anna said, “I feel like I’m just getting into my stride as an editor and now I have to leave.” Editing was an incredible experience for Anna to hear student voices and share some of her favorite hobbies via writing.

More questions about the Looking Glass:

What were your first experiences with the newspaper? Why did you like it?

Although she didn’t feel so welcomed by the high schoolers, meeting Mrs. Whitlock, Anna said, was a wonderful introduction to the Looking Glass. Anna said that Mrs. Whitlock inspired her and said to her “You’re a good writer!” and urged Anna to stay. And those words of encouragement spurred Anna and she felt inspired.

“You can’t say no to Mrs. Whitlock!”

We asked Anna a question about her writing:

Why do you personally like to write (for the newspaper, or just writing in general)?

Writing, we’ve learned from Anna, helps you observe. 

“I like to write because it helps me understand life better because that’s how you discover the truth is when you reflect on the things that are going on around you,” Anna said.

Observing like a writer makes you attuned to looking out for things that could pass for everyday happenings. But when you start really looking for those normal things— you’ll “start to see the beauty in everything.”

What other things do you like to do (outside newspaper)? Why do you love those things?

Anna has been in every musical and plays she can since she joined Montrose! “I love performing because it brings me joy and I plan to do it for the rest of my life,” Anna said. She’s been doing drama, speech, treble makers, creative writing, choir (pre-Covid, of course), and cantoring at Mass. It’s obvious that Anna has a gift for performance.

She said: “I love it because- I don’t know- it brings me joy, but also that is what I plan to do with the rest of my life, to perform.”

She writes shows and music now, and hopefully, we’ll be able to see a show with Anna either on the stage or behind the script! 

What does the future look like for you beyond Montrose? (college, major, will you continue with journalism, etc..)

It’s a certain fact that Anna plans on acting professionally— “whether it be film, tv, theatre, or a mix.” And she is also interested in writing and directing!

Anna said: “Definitely, there’s a lot of skills you learn from being in the newspaper and editing and writing that are helpful because in acting, words are so important and so you can never go wrong by writing and it will definitely help me to read scripts and know how to act better.”

What were the toughest grades to go through? Any advice for Montrosians on how to handle those grades? (Advice for juniors, 7th graders, etc)

Without a doubt, Anna Sheehan has confirmed that her junior year was the toughest to go through. 

Anna said to us: “COVID did a really great job of making sure that none of my family or friends could come and watch the musical. COVID did a really great job of making me realize that my show was not the most important thing going on in the world… It was my life, my performance, whether it be acapella or speech, or anything that involved me being in front of people performing was the most important thing in my life. I remember saying my life is over when it got shut down because I had made it my entire life.” The pandemic came as a big shock, and put many things that we put our life and effort into— it put it all on hold or straight-up canceled it! And it could have made us think that everything was in the garbage can.

But when she was able to see some things in a clearer light, Anna said: “I realized, I was prioritizing this show above people”

Her family couldn’t see the show she and her friends had put so much effort into, but she, after the initial shock, recognized that it was her family that is the most important thing. Not “Big: the Musical”, not speech, not school. 

Anna said: “I needed to use theatre to serve people. It can’t be a replacement for actual relationships, it needs to be a way of fostering relationships.” She found trueness in the midst of suffering.

When it comes to giving advice to the current and future juniors, Anna said: “Don’t beat yourself up about your choices… as long as you’re doing those things because you care about the people around you, just keep doing what you’re doing. You will get through it. You will be fine.”

Another piece of advice she gives is: “Don’t be a junior in the year of a pandemic.” 

For our final question, we asked Anna:

What is one thing you will miss about Montrose?

Right now, Anna is definitely excited about college. (She applied to Columbia, NYU, Brown, Catholic University, Fordham, and BU). She said: “I don’t know what I’m going to miss. I’ll know once I miss it. What a blessing it’s been in my life. I will be overwhelmed, but I will be filled with gratitude.”

Truly, Anna said that she is grateful for her friends, her teachings, her experiences, her opportunities to grow in faith— all of which are things Montrose has given her.

Anna is the perfect example of someone doing what they love and loving what they do which is something to admire and take heed of. And not only does she love it, but she also loves others through it. Using her talents, she reaches out and extends that love to everyone she encounters— the audience members at a concert, her classmates, family, friends, and teachers, even her speech competitors, and even the congregation at mass when she cantors. She has reached out to all of Montrose, especially the Looking Glass. We cannot wait to see her on the college stage, career, and beyond!

We wish you luck Anna, and we can’t wait to see all of the inevitably brilliant pieces you’ll bring to the world!

Elyza Tuan ‘23 and Jenn Uche ‘22, Co Assistant Editor-in-Chief and Walrus Editor and