So, Here's My Last Letter as Editor–in–Chief (Kind Of)
This job is tough. I'm honored I got to do it.
And here we are. This is my last letter as 34th Street Magazine's Editor–in–Chief. Well, okay, not exactly. I'll still technically have my fancy title until the end of December. But this time next week, there will be a new Editor–in–Chief, announced and set and ready to go, chomping at the bit to continue (or undo) what I've done.
It's unbelievable how quickly this year has flown by. I remember sitting in the front office of the DP, scared out of my mind for my interview (for the record, when I walked in, I blurted out to then–president Colin Henderson that I was listening to "My Shot" from Hamilton to get pumped. And he still hired me, so thank you Colin.) I remember waking up after four hours of sleep the day after elections. I remember heading to the office, looking at my new executive board, and being completely and utterly terrified. For all my months of planning and obsessing, I was struck by the worst possible scenario: I had no clue what to do.
The thing is, it's impossible to prepare for something like this. It's impossible to prepare for the exposure, the access to campus. This job comes with a lot of attention, good and bad. Not in an egotistical way, to be sure. Do people know (or care) that I head this publication? Probably not. But do people have opinions on Street—either glowing reviews or vitriolic hatred? For sure. The thing is, when you are so heavily involved in something for so long, you merge identities. A critique of Street and the DP is a critique of me. If I missed something, if Street messes up, it's my fault, and I sometimes can't help but internalize it.
As I prepare to pass along Editor–in–Chief responsibilities, I've found myself repeating one particular piece of advice: you will fuck up. A lot. You will fuck up majorly. We're a student–run business, and that means that the DP and Street are as much of a training ground as they are part of a company. This is a place to learn, and part of learning is making mistakes. However, it's what you take from those mistakes—that's what matters.
I would be lying if I said this was a perfect term. Preparing to hand off responsibilities means I've done a lot of reflection and self–assessment. There are things I'm proud of, there are things I regret. There are things I would have loved to do differently, or have paid more attention to. But that's the beauty of this position. It's finite. You get one year to do your absolute best, to try your hardest and make mistakes and find ways to fix them. I will perhaps never be in a position to lead a staff of almost over one hundred people. I might never have such a visible job again. This is an unbelievable, completely unique experience, and I'm grateful every day I got to do it.
So, have I done absolutely everything I wanted to do? No. But I did everything with passion and fierce love for this publication. And I think that can be enough for me.