COURTESY OF DIANA RIOS
This semester has been a very impactful learning experience for me. Not only was I initially clueless about what I was doing in this role, but I was nervous about leading a group of people my age through a semester of content for the student newspaper.
I had joined the Evergreen staff only a few months prior to being editor, and I was very daunted at first. I soon learned there was no reason to be afraid at all because I had the support of the editorial staff here at the Evergreen.
I had no idea what to expect, but what came to be of this semester is an experience I would never want to change. The fact is, this student newspaper, and more importantly, the people who are part of it, are able to foster a tight-knit, meaningful community. There was not a single time where I didn’t feel like a valued member, and I am grateful for that. These individuals made this experience whole for me, and I am grateful for each one of them.
Not to mention, every single Wednesday night this semester was a new adventure every time. It was a very hectic adventure, but a very fun one. I got to know several fun, kind and freaking funny personalities at in-person, masked, production nights, including those who were only able to join us virtually for production. They all gave me some of the best laughs I’ve had all year.
There were points in the semester where I wanted to go MIA because classes would get difficult, and in turn, it made my job hard to keep up with — regardless of this, my team of writers and my editors were there to hold me up before things got unmanageable.
I had set several goals for my section at the beginning of the semester, and my section managed to surpass these goals while building their skills and getting in touch with their creativity.
I wanted to promote a positive environment where my writers were able to freely express their voices and genuinely enjoy what they were doing — in turn, they surprised me with consistently great quality work.
It’s honestly very difficult to keep referring to them as my writers because I see them as my friends.
We took all of our individual experiences this school year, worked through difficult times and prevailed as a section of four writers. I am wholeheartedly proud of this group of individuals, their effort and their dedication to this section during a semester where things hardly seemed to take a pause.
Each person on this team has contributed their time and immense amounts of effort to conduct interviews, write and virtually meet with me to help produce what they envisioned as their work. At times, these meetings were up to an hour or more simply because we were able to converse about how they were doing. Honestly, they are a group of very interesting people and I mean that in only the best way.
While this role has brought me immense pride in my school and this newspaper, I feel as though it is meant to be carried out as a relay race. Except, in this case, you take all the knowledge and experience you could possibly get before you pass the baton to the person you believe has the potential to carry out this position.
Just as my editors recognized the potential in me, I took it upon myself to make my own recommendations to allow someone else’s vision to be brought to life as Evergreen opinion editor. I am very happy to pass the Opinion baton to one of my own writers. There is no doubt in my heart they will do great things with this section.
My time at the Evergreen is not over. Instead, I will be leading a section that is new to me. Until fall, I’ll miss all of you readers!