Three years ago, I stepped into my first Echo training week. I was nervous, worried and downright scared.
The only form of journalism experience I brought with me was small roles in my high school’s yearbook. My school didn’t have a newspaper, and I for sure hadn’t read enough news growing up to feel comfortable writing journalistically.
But then, on my first night on campus as a freshman, I was informed I would be the paper’s sports editor for the upcoming year. My 18-year-old self wasn’t really sure what that meant, and the nerves, worries and fear that I had brought with me were amplified.
It took time, but through the support of my staff, leaders and those around me at this university, I learned to understand what being the sports editor meant — what my workload looked like and how to ask the right people for help and produce quality content for the back page of this newspaper each week.
Now, as a senior and a Co-Editor in Chief, I find myself in a similar situation.
While I wasn’t bestowed the title of Co-Editor in Chief the day I arrived on campus, I was unexpectedly and temporarily the sole Editor in Chief of The Echo for a few weeks until junior Kay Rideout accepted a spot to be the other Co-Editor in Chief a little over a week ago.
The last few weeks have been interesting as we navigate a new leadership staff and adjust to a new staff as a whole here, but as those around me and I navigate the unexpected, I have been reminded of the promises from the Lord in unexpected situations.
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phillippians 4:7)
Oftentimes, similarly to my situation as a freshman, you learn how to do things and fill roles on the fly. For me, the best method of learning is through trying and leaning on others in that process.
So as I learn the ropes of my role and transition away from the sports page — where I spent three years and consistently wrote similar pieces and talked with similar people — I now have to learn a new type of leadership and a new type of writing. And I ask you all, the readers of this award-winning student newspaper, to join us on this journey. I can confidently say that this staff of editors, writers, designers, photographers and copy editors will each work as hard as we can to produce the best product we can each week.
There won’t be perfection. Mistakes happen, and we try to do what we can to correct those mistakes. But there will be hard work and stories worth reading shared.
So whether you’re filing through the paper looking for the picture of your friend that you heard would be featured in a certain edition, you’re a devoted reader who’s on their eighth story of the morning or you’re someone who just enjoys the games page, I encourage you to recognize the amount of work that goes into producing this paper and appreciate your fellow students who are putting this tremendous work in each week.
And a cheesy, albeit accurate reminder — You are the voice. We’re just The Echo.