Graduate Column: It’s been one hell of a ride

Zoë Donovan, Editor-In-Chief

The last two years have been one hell of ride. It’s been hectic and chaotic, and looking back I loved every minute of it. I wouldn’t have said that at times though. It was stressful, it was a lot of late nights editing and making phone calls and designing.

When I initially applied for the Navigator as a reporter the summer before last I didn’t think I was going to get the job. I had no experience with journalism, save for a homemade paper I typed up for my family on a word document during my childhood, and I really didn’t think my writing was all that impressive. Back then I thought teaching was for me. But I did my practicum and found that I just didn’t have the patience for high school students or the bureaucracy.
So there I was, back to square one after a full year of classes, and I had no idea what I was going to do. It was around this time that I was selected to be the Editor-In-Chief, and the only thing that I really knew was that I wanted to keep doing this. I loved writing, and talking to people. I loved being able to sit down with instructors that inspire students and watch them open up. I loved talking to students and sharing their stories. I knew I loved writing stories, especially those that impacted people. It took me longer than I care to admit to realize that I was already doing that, on a very small scale, but that’s what a newspaper does.
Lake Land was the last place I wanted to go when I was in high school. But my time here has probably been the best two years of my life. I loved running this paper even with all of its chaos and missed deadlines and late nights.  Because, at the end of every month when I picked up the paper I  could say “that’s mine, I made that”.
I’m so excited to move on but it will be a bit bittersweet. I’m going to miss my student life mom, talking politics with SAB members and running around doing errands for every other group in this office.
I end my time at Lake Land on the executive board for NSLS, President of Pride, President of Environmental Club and Editor-In-Chief of a wild and wonderful newspaper. I don’t know how I ended up in charge of so many things, but it has been a journey of growth, leadership and learning.
I will miss it all but I won’t miss any of the stress that comes along with it. I leave this newspaper to an entirely new staff, and I’m scared for them. But, I know that they will do fine. I will be only a phone call away. I am grateful that Derby, the previous editor-in-chief did the same for me. The year would have been a lot more stressful without her help.
I would like to thank my awesome editorial staff. Abby, I’ve known you for like 8 years and I’m so glad we could work together. Courtney, you’re super cool and I’m sad to see you go, but you’ll do great things. The design days spent in the office were always eventful. William, you’re not an editor but thank you for letting me down one last time. Your graduate column was true to Will “two sentence” Starwalt form.
It’s been a tumultuous year, but we made it. Our paper won awards and we only had a handful of mental breakdowns, but we managed. By the time you read this, I will able to throw my hands up in relief and shout. “It’s not my monkey, this ain’t my circus” and finally be able to walk away from this wonderfully chaotic publication, and hopefully onto one just as wild and full of heart.
I will be attending Eastern Illinois University next fall, and majoring in Journalism for public affairs reporting. Maybe after all this is over I can finally kick that energy drink habit.

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