On the day I met the rest of The Montclarion e-board in person, I had no idea I was meeting the people who would become like family to me. All I knew was it was too hot outside and I was woefully awkward from two years of little to no human interaction.
My training for the position was completely virtual, as made evident by the fact that I had to Google “how to turn on an iMac” on my first day in the office. I felt deeply unqualified and out of place, especially as an English major.
What on earth was I doing in a room full of budding journalists?
Before I became the opinion editor, I had been indulging in a favorite pastime: beating myself up over the direction my life had taken. I felt like a failure for dropping out of one college halfway through and taking a gap year, which put me behind my peers.
But if things hadn’t played out exactly as they did, I wouldn’t have had the experience I did.
Sure, I might still have been a part of The Montclarion, but I wouldn’t have been a part of the greatest, funniest, most incredible group of people I have ever met in my life.
For years, I told myself it was better to live in self-imposed exile than to risk the pain of being rejected. Now I know it would have been so much worse to pass up this kind of opportunity.
It sounds dramatic, but I don’t know who I would be or what I would have done without the certainty of pizza on Wednesdays, extremely lowkey gatherings at Emma’s apartment, the stomach cramps from laughing at pictures of Phil Murphy, even the weekly reels I pretended to be annoyed about.
I’m not the person I was before this year, and I say that in the best way possible. Everyone I met at The Montclarion has left a profound mark on me as a human, as a friend and as someone to look up to. Years from now, there are many things I may not remember about this time in my life, but nothing could make me forget the all-consuming joy these people have made me feel.
I knew my time at the paper would be over someday, I just didn’t know how soon the end would come. To the upcoming e-board, you are all outstandingly capable and I know you’re going to kill it. Avery, I am so proud of you, may you slay eternally.
I came to The Montclarion as someone who felt as though they had lost a part of themselves they couldn’t get back. I’m leaving it as an award-winning journalist, a changemaker and someone my 18-year-old self would be in awe of.
It’s funny- for someone who made it their business to tell everyone exactly what they thought for eight months, I’m kind of at a loss for words.
I don’t think anything I could say would be enough to describe how much all of this has meant to me.