I’ve always had a problem with fitting in. Often, I’d get the feeling of being alone in a room full of people, like a puzzle piece not cut quite right. It was difficult to connect on a meaningful level to anyone.
When I started as a Copy Editor for The Scout at the end of my sophomore year, I was desperate to get an on-campus job that involved writing (and wasn’t tutoring). When the previous Editor-in-Chief, Sam Pallini, told me in my interview that The Scout would become like a family to me, I didn’t believe her. I thought it was the same corny line every recruiter trots out for the newbies.
I was intimidated and hurt by my first article for The Scout. I was an English major who’d never written an article in her life and had little clue how to do so. Article writing is a sink-or-swim endeavor, and journalists are harsh; little time to spare and three articles to write on deadline will do that to a person (I’m one of those mean people now, whoops).
However, I came away from that experience with a desire to prove myself and a taste of the writing I’d be doing for the next two years.
But I still doubted I’d develop that family I was told about.
I had friendships with people on staff as a Copy Editor, but I didn’t socialize with them outside Scout events or the office like the rest of the staff seemed to do. It was a family, but I felt like that cousin you only talked to at holiday parties. I didn’t feel like I fit in as seamlessly as everyone else.
Then came the most challenging year of my life: Editor-in-Chief 2015-16. I thought it was bad when I had three to four articles per week as a Copy Editor for that one month fall semester, but this was, and is, true hell.
No sleep, crappy eating habits, overwhelming anxiety and the heavy burden of taking responsibility when everything goes to absolute shit.
But if I hadn’t been EIC, I would have missed the truly unforgettable moments, as well.
Snapchat wars, Photoshop editing battles, staff all-nighters, Scoutings to everywhere and anywhere, laughing in the office over ridiculous quotes, sleeping under office desks, hypothetical questions, brutally honest conversations and the camaraderie of deadline writing.
The truth is, Sam was right (as she usually is).
I’ve finally found my family.
And now that I have, it’s already time to leave. Nothing could be more heartbreaking.
You guys made me the person I am today, and I can’t thank you enough. Even though we may argue over which article will make it to the final cut, how to manage off-staffers, when Christmas music is appropriate, if we should publish that sketchy Letter to the Editor or if “frickles” is a real word, I feel like I fit in with you.
No matter how my week has gone, at the end of each one, I can only say, “I’m glad I finally found my Scout family.”
Catch you later, losers.