Thanks Lake Land: It’s time to say goodbye


Madelyn Kidd, Editor-in-Chief

When I first enrolled at Lake Land, I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do. A couple of clubs caught my interest, but mostly I was just trying to navigate my way through the next couple of years and hope I could make a decision by graduation of where to go next.

I never had a good relationship with school. At a young age, I was relentlessly bullied, and the school did nothing about it. I finally reached a point where just the thought about school led to an anxiety attack. Eventually, after enough teachers and school staff told me to “stop faking it” in the middle of a panic attack, my parents decided to homeschool.

Starting at Lake Land was terrifying. Sure, this wasn’t my small town public school where you couldn’t escape teachers and students you disliked and disliked you, but my anxiety wasn’t going to listen to that logic regardless. 

Thus, I started at Lake Land, and it was really really nice. I didn’t care as much about the bad instructors because I could just choose to never take one of their classes again or I could drop the class then. Meanwhile, classmates were just as focused as me about enjoying college and figuring out who they are that no one cares much about anyone else’s. 

I was finally finding my place in the world, and better yet I was getting really good grades with less effort than I had to put into my public school grades that I still failed due to stress and anxiety from my environment. However, I still didn’t know what I was going to do after Lake Land.

Then during the Spring 2019 semester, I was taking Composition I with Matt Landrus when he asked a few students to stay after class was over. Once class was over, he introduced someone who walked in as the 2018-19 Editor-in-Chief of The Navigator who was there to talk about The Navigator hiring for the 2019-20 school year. I’ve always loved reading and was good at grammar and writing and to get paid for that seemed like a bonus, so I decided to apply for a job on the staff. 

I ended up being hired as Copy Editor, and it was an experience. I learned a lot about the world of journalism, how to cope with a job and school, how to manage parts of the staff and over time learned that maybe this is what I wanted to do. 

Then it came time to hire for the 2020-21 staff, and I was hired to be Editor-in-Chief, which came with a whole new set of skills to learn. Still, through all the stress and the crazy, it’s been an amazing and beautiful thing to be a part of the last two years. 

Now, I’m graduating from Lake Land, which sounds crazy. Although now, I know what I’m doing. I’m going to Eastern Illinois University to major in journalism, a choice I never would have made without The Navigator and Lake Land College. Also, I got hired as Managing Editor at EIU’s newspaper the Daily Eastern News. 

Over these last few years, I’ve grown so much I almost don’t recognize the girl I used to be. For the first time in my life, I’m not anxious about my life changing, I’m excited. As overly dramatic as it sounds, I wouldn’t be the person I am now without Lake Land and The Navigator, so thanks Lake Land.

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