The idea of a managing editor writing a letter from the editor is an interesting one, as it doesn’t happen often. I was lucky enough, though, to have an editor-in-chief who spent this year valuing and appreciating my work, contribution and individual self. So here I am, sitting in the Chimes office for one of the last times, trying to come up with something profound to say about a period in my life that didn’t last nearly long enough.
All of our parents told us at some point – mine told me consistently – that time flies after you graduate high school. Bills and family issues and everyday life start up, and they age you, slow you down and threaten to disrupt your inner peace. I’ve been out of high school for six years now, and I can confirm that this is, in fact, true.
One thing my parents also told me, though, was to enjoy each fleeting moment with every ounce of appreciation you have. I’ve tried to carry this concept with me through my time at Capital and will bring it with me when I return to finish my degree. Even though I won’t be graduating in May, I will be taking a break to focus on myself and my mental health, and if there’s one thing I want to say in this letter, it’s this: YOU, reader, are the most important project that you’ll ever work on.
School is hard, and sometimes it isn’t possible to finish in only four years. I’m on year six and still have over 12 credit hours to go, and that’s okay. Whether it’s having to take a break to work in order to finance your schooling or being diagnosed with bipolar disorder after years of being treated for major depression, everyone has issues that have nothing to do with our education.
I can’t lie, working for the Chimes is stressful. When I started almost three years ago, I was a reluctant reporter who had been volunteered to join by a friend who was a member. Now, I’m the person who whips reluctant reporters into shape. In a news environment, this requires a sense of urgency and energy that I sometimes don’t have, and that’s been a struggle.
Journalism and mental illness haven’t been easy to mix, but I’d like to think that I’ve done it to the best of my ability, and that’s all that anyone can expect of themselves or anyone else. We’re all people going through things that no one else knows anything about, and it’s important to be mindful of that in classes, jobs and everyday scenarios where you have to interact with others.
Any job where you have to deal with people is taxing, though, because of emotions and confrontation and the fact that being around people in general can be entirely exhausting. Fortunately, I lucked out and have had the pleasure of working with people who have reminded me just how beautiful life, love and friendship are.
To the Chimes staff: thank you for giving me so many reasons to smile and for inspiring me to keep going when things get hard. Thank you for being patient, understanding and beautiful inside and out. You’ve all changed my life for the better.
It’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way. Take the time to get help and take care of yourself, but never take your eyes off the prize. Treat others with kindness, learn to love yourself for exactly who you are, and never in a state of 1 a.m. exhaustion say, “I’ll just go to bed and get up to finish this paper in the morning,” because I promise that you probably won’t.