Letter from the Editor 04.19.2022
On impostor syndrome, thank–you notes, and feeling like you belong
I almost didn’t run for this job.
It feels weird to think, but there was a time when I had no aspirations to be editor–in–chief, no desire to lead this publication or pour my soul into it for a year. I was perfectly content to imagine myself editing articles or working with writers, but never running Street.
When the idea did finally pop into my head, I had to send then–Editor–in–Chief Beatrice Forman a rambling Slack message asking if I’d even be good at it—and in traditional Bea fashion, she replied with her own paragraph of affirmation mixed with advice. She told me I’d be a great fit, but only if I learned the importance of self–care. She told me my feelings of impostor syndrome were silly in a way that made me actually believe it.
As simple as it sounds, I just needed someone else to tell me I belonged. It wasn’t enough to be confident in the work I’d done or the writers I’d trained, I needed someone to tell me I deserved to be respected.
As I sat down to profile Bea this week, as is tradition among the Street EIC lineage, I was reminded of this moment—the one where I stopped feeling like a staffer clamoring for the respect of my boss and started feeling like her friend. It’s also the moment where I stopped feeling out of place at this publication.
As college students, we’re all wandering around, vaguely confused about who we want to be. Being a young adult is one big long search for validation, and it almost never comes from whom you think it will.
Maybe it sounds excessively sappy, but I guess this letter is a sort of thank–you note to Bea. In a way, it’s a thank you note to all my predecessors: Tamsyn who taught Bea, Annabelle who taught Tamsyn, Nick who taught Annabelle, and so on. At some point, we each went from a wide–eyed first year to the person running the whole operation. Someday, I’ll tell someone else they belong here, too.
In a way, that’s what this week’s issue is all about. Our feature dissects startup culture, questioning why we think only certain types of people will be successful in the field and reminding us that anyone can have a great idea. Our profile of Kendra Brooks explores what it means to find a purpose and build a better world. And of course, my profile of Bea reflects on her own path to making Street feel like a place anyone could belong.
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