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NEWTON: Time keeps on slippin'
Evan Newton headshot

Coming up on May 25, I will have hit my 5-year anniversary of graduating high school.

The first thing I immediately thought of whenever this popped in my mind was, ‘How has it already been five years?’

The second thing I thought of was not how special that day was, not receiving a hug from my dad at graduation as I walked across the stage, not how the class of 2019 was the last to walk across the stage at Rose Bowl Field in Monticello, but just how damn hot it was outside. 

I kid you not, the class of 2019 at Jasper County High School graduated in 100+ degree weather. It is truly a miracle how we all managed to walk across the stage without getting heat stroke.

But I digress. I wanted to take the time to at least acknowledge this in a column because my original intent was to reflect on what my life since leaving high school has been like. And believe me, it’s been a ride. 

However, I don’t want to be accused of writing the same column over-and-over again, as I tend to write a lot about the past.

So while I have hit the halfway point for the inevitable and potentially awkward 10-year high school reunion that I may or may not attend, allow me to instead reflect on what I think the future will be like once we get to that point.

For starters, I think the world will be more technologically advanced than ever before. This is probably the safest bet in my future predictions, simply because we have already seen it.

Particularly with artificial intelligence, I can only see that continuing to grow. I remember ChatGPT being a topic of discussion in one of my Rhetoric classes my last semester in college and how powerful it was even then. Imagine what it’ll be like five years from now.

I just wish it would have been more prevalent whenever I was in school. I’m not saying – or endorsing – cheating or any other malicious academic dishonesty, but I had a 2.8 GPA in college, I probably could have used the help.

I also expect the way for subject matter taught in schools to begin to undergo a change as well. One thing that I and many others longed for when we were in school was “real-world applicability.” There has already been somewhat of a shift just since I have left high school. I expect that to continue as the curriculum shifts to a more real-world based approach, rather than learning your cos, sin and tan until you’re sick of it.

On a bit of a pessimistic note, I expect politics to be even more divided by the time we hit 2029, too. 

Just in my lifetime, politics have continued to become a slippery slope that has divided people across the nation at the federal, state and local levels. With the rise of social media and the potential for misinformation, the lack of media literacy shown in the majority of today’s society will continue to create those barriers.

Speaking of media literacy, I also expect that to also decline. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this in a future column, but my colleague Stephen Milligan over at The Walton Tribune spoke quite eloquently on the topic. I encourage you to give it a read.

As for the part that  only my parents care about — Where do I expect to see my life in five years?

The truth is I have no earthly idea overall, but I know there are some almost sure things.

I’ll at least be an uncle, as my brother Aaron and his wife Holly are expecting their first child any day now. Her name is Millie, and in 2029, she’ll be close to her 5th birthday.

Also hitting their 5th birthday will be the twin pugs Harry and Tucker that now occupy the Newton household. They have brought a new sense of joy that was left behind since Buddy passed away and I expect them to continue to do so going into 2029.

I don’t think I’ll be living with my parents still. That’s not a definite no or a definite yes, but I’m leaning towards a no by 2029. Sorry Mom and Dad.

I also don’t expect to be married either. I don’t typically talk that much about that part of my life – and I plan to keep it that way – but I’m pretty focused on other parts of my life and being married isn’t one of them. Again, sorry Mom and Dad.

But I won’t apologize for my next part and that is my intent to continue to push forward in the journalism industry. Whether it be here with The Covington News, or somewhere else, I plan to keep making my mark in an industry that is seeing a massive shift.

As for three other major goals I have by the time I’m almost 28 in 2029.

I want to see more of the world outside of the U.S. Traveling to Japan, Australia and New Zealand come to mind off the top of my head. 

I want to keep finding more hobbies and activities that make me happy. Recently for me that’s been golf and working out, but maybe that’s something else down the road.

And lastly, by 2029 I want to keep my hairline. That may be a ridiculous statement given the amount of hair I have, but I guess stranger things have happened.

As time keeps on slippin’, we’ll see if any of my 2029 predictions are right five years from now.

Evan Newton is the news editor of The Covington News. He can be reached at