Assoc. News Editor
I never would’ve thought that the Snapper could wedge such a deep hole in my heart over the past couple of years. That sounds legitimately crazy, but it did. I literally fell in love with a newspaper and more importantly, its staff. For every compliment the newspaper received from the campus community, there were 15 criticisms. I’ve been insulted in my position as associate news editor, challenged by peers and lost hundreds upon hundreds of hours’ sleep contributing to this publication. Most importantly, I’ve realized no matter where you’re at in life, it’s impossible to make everyone happy.
“If you do take this position, you will not have a social life,” said Michael Blackson, the former news editor and now editor-in-chief of the Snapper. Those words reverberated in my head when I expressed slight interest in an editorial position back in 2011. I thought, “these kids must be crazy if they think I’m going to devote each and every Tuesday night to the newspaper, among countless other responsibilities on a weekly overlapping basis.” No thank you. I quietly tried to leave my first meeting with the organization in a casual manner to avoid further discussion about an open position, but was caught by Michael Blackson. I was “roped in,” but enjoyed the uncertainty of what was to follow.
I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t a couple dozen panic attacks along the way, tears late at night wondering how I could balance everything and if I was even well-suited for the position. The pretty turquoise notebook that I picked out for my story ideas soon transitioned to a separate pocket in my brain that rapidly began overflowing. Organization was key, but it was hard to maintain. Taking this position was like having a second job on top of my academic, financial and personal obligations. I began doodling story ideas in my notebooks during class, responding to text messages from fellow editors late at night and covering stories while the newspaper was still being put together. Despite these obligations, the Snapper never seemed like a chore to me. I looked forward to Tuesday evenings, I loved the diversity of personalities within the staff and I enjoyed feeling like I was a part of something. Yes, I get it; this is getting a bit sappy for your liking. It’s true though, and that is a powerful feeling.
Just like every organization on campus, its members are extremely protective over their members and what they’re putting out there in the world. I feel as though it is those members that truly know what happens behind closed doors. I love this organization and I’ve seen how hard people work to benefit the University community. I’ve also witnessed firsthand what they’ve given up to deliver a well-rounded product for all readers.
The amount of time and effort that go into every issue is off the charts, and something as simple as picking a photo is thoroughly thought out. This organization has built me up in a way that not even a goodbye article could properly articulate. When it’s extremely late at night and nobody else is around, our staff collaborates and problem solves in a way that no class could ever train me to do. I’ve learned how to work as a member of the strongest team I’ve ever encountered, while also operating as a confident individual. Coming from someone that used to experience heavy anxiety, this organization has molded me into someone that has mastered time management, writing, editing and even leadership. Really, they are a family. Each and every member contributes to a feeling of unity and although we are dysfunctional, we are not disjointed.
I know that in the coming weeks it will be extremely hard to fathom that this is my final issue of the newspaper that gave me a second chance to grow. Yes, I didn’t even hear back after I applied to be a writer during my freshman year! Life is all about second chances and this was a huge one for me. I am going to miss each and every member of the staff, but most importantly my other half, Danielle Kreider. We’ve run one hell of an operation as the news section with less than four writers for more than one year. Tempers flared, computers were screamed at, writers bailed out, energy drinks were consumed, but giving up was never an option. This is an aspect of my life that I will cherish and protect forever. I owe a lot to each and every member of the staff for building me up to the person I am today. I will miss them dearly, think of them often and definitely keep in touch.