|Farewell to the best four years of my life|
|Written by Alyssa Siegele, Daily Vidette Editor in Chief|
|Sunday, 06 May 2012 09:56|
She told me it would be one of the toughest jobs I would ever do. She said I would only go a little crazy. And she was right.
I remember two years ago in May, my former editor in chief sat down with me behind her desk to talk about what I would soon encounter as her successor. It didn’t sound pretty or very appealing.
You might get some angry phone calls — always be polite and listen to their point of view. Not everyone will agree with you or like your opinion, but it should be printed as long as deep thought has been put in and the research has been done.
Angry phone calls? Check.
You might work really long days in the beginning and even toward the end. Sometimes a major story falls through or a crisis happens that needs coverage, and you’ll be in the building until one in the morning. Or sometimes a page just disappears from the folder and needs to be entirely redone, so you’ll stick around and help editors remake it.
Long work days? Check, check.
You might have to resolve conflicts between staff members. Pairs may not always work out and the coeditors might need to be replaced with others, but it’s never easy to do. Editors might fight with each other and not want to work together, so some compromise needs to be worked out.
Difficult management situations? Check, check, check.
I think my blood pressure has risen over the past two years and I’ve broken out in acne over the stress multiple times. Being editor in chief means you are responsible for everything in the paper, everyone who works for it, and everything that goes right and wrong. I’m on-call during all hours of the day, and I have the call logs to prove it. What it also means is I’ve grown an incredibly thick skin from criticism and all kinds of ways to deal with stress, perhaps to the point that things should stress me out but no longer do.
I’ve managed dozens of peers, trained dozens of editors, hired and (to no enjoyment) fired other students, and sat through hundreds of meetings. This professional experience will dictate my future for years, and for all of these difficult situations, I am eternally grateful.
You see, without the experience of all of these difficult situations, I could not possibly have recognized the great ones. I have made so many close friends, encountered a few very valuable mentors, and hopefully become a mentor to a few of my own.
I’ve eaten pizza in the Vidette building during plenty of late nights, made countless trips to Circle K for Polar Pops (diet, to save my waistline), taken trips to Chicago, Georgia, and New York City for newspaper conferences, and had the privilege of meeting enough talented, passionate student journalists to know the future for them and for our field is bright and exciting.
I’ve sacrificed hundreds of lazy Sundays working away on Monday’s newspapers for three years, but this can’t be called a bad experience.
Because yesterday, my last Sunday at the Daily Vidette, was a very special one. I said goodbye to the most perfect job I will ever have. It’s not like I’ll become the editor in chief at the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times, but I don’t think I would want to because it still would never compare to the joy and fun I have experienced here.
I’d like to say thank you to every Videtter, new and old, and every reader. To my parents, for their pride and support; to my right-hand-man, for never complaining and for always listening to me; and my friends, for taking the wild ride with me. Being a student leader at what I consider to be the best newspaper in the world has been an unforgettable thing.
I haven’t led the Vidette. The Vidette has led me.