I suppose your first week at any new job is going to be a little chaotic, but my first week here at The Mirror was more chaotic than most. I was a completely blank slate. I was just a small-town gal stepping off the bus into the big city of news. And then the universe threw us all a bit of a curveball because that was the week of President Mark Nemec’s “anti-anti-racist” comment debacle.
Well, I think you can imagine what kind of week that was for the editor of the Opinion section. I was getting emails left and right with letters to the editor, professors and students alike wanting to make their voices heard. I wrote my very first article ever published in this paper that week, and I was talking about the president!? The energy in the office was electric, the issue looked beautiful and I was hooked.
I’ve gained so much from my time here. Amazing friends, a new confidence in my abilities as a writer and more stupid shortcuts for fixing bugs with Adobe InDesign than I can count. I’m proud of the work that was published in my section this year, and I’m so excited to see where next year’s editor will take it. I love this staff, I love this paper and I have loved this job.
Two years ago, when I received a LinkedIn message from Editor-in-Chief Emerita Molly Lamendola when she was still just the Vine Editor, asking me to apply for a spot on the editorial staff of the Mirror I had no idea that I would 1) get the job and 2) that the Mirror would become as large a part of my Fairfield story as it is. The Mirror has given me a plethora of things like some of my best friends, my fondest memories and albeit a few premature gray hairs, I would not change anything for the world.
I remember my first assignment as Head News Editor like it was yesterday. Maddy, who was the Assistant News Editor, and I were meant to cover the FUSA Presidential Debate. Though I now consider Maddy to be one of my best friends, I didn’t know her very well besides the fact we lived on the same floor during our first year at Fairfield. And even though we didn’t know each other very well, she invited me to her room in Kostka Hall to watch and cover the debate. Thus, the start of our friendship. We stayed up all night writing this article, incredibly eager to please and to prove ourselves in our new roles after having never written for The Mirror before. I think we went to bed at 3 a.m. that night after writing our 3,400-word article. I like to think of that night as the precursor for all of the wonderful memories created and work completed during my Mirror tenure.
I’m so thankful to have been a part of such an important student organization and am incredibly thankful for everyone I have met and everything I have had the opportunity to do during my Mirror tenure.
Saying goodbye to something that you have put an immense amount of time and effort into is a very weird feeling. The Mirror is almost always on my mind whether it is my amazing staff, next week’s issue or thinking of all the little things to be done so our little ship of a newspaper stays afloat.
Being EIC has taught me so many things about myself, working with others and the fact that if you care about something truly – you will put in all the time and effort you can regardless of how long it takes or how stressful it may be at times.
I never wrote a newspaper article before applying for The Mirror. I came in just wanting to be a part of something. I am so lucky to not only have been a part of it but also to have been a leader of it.
We have done some amazing work, and I am so proud of my staff who will have my full and complete support and love the rest of the time I’m here. As much as I support them, the support I have felt in return from my staff, professors and other members on campus has been incredibly appreciated – this semester especially.
I think that’s another thing that has made my time here so special: the love and care for what we do. With all the articles we have written and all the tedious times we have examined layout; it is because we truly love what the Mirror can do and care for the stories, students and issues we are reporting on.
Our little office in the Barone Campus Center will always be so special to me; paper chained with old copies and lit with old Christmas lights along with the many, many random knick knacks accumulated throughout the years. I know the love and care in that office emulated by our amazing writers, people and friends will continue to drive The Mirror’s mission, cover university happenings, raise student voices and be a place where the next student who has never written for a newspaper before can discover their potential to be a part of something so very special.