My love/hate relationship

Last March, I remember having lunch with a friend when I got a call from Matt, one of the current Editors in Chief of the Journal, asking me if I wanted to be one of the assistant news editors on their staff next year. At that point, I wanted to jump out of my seat, run out of the restaurant onto Princess Street screaming, “I got the job!” But instead, I kept my cool and said a simple “yes!” Nine months later, after being immersed into the world of leads, kickers, headlines,
dots, flats, interviews and deadlines, I have to say that my excitement has waned just a little.

Come by the Journal House on a Monday or Thursday night and you’re likely to hear one—or many—of us cry out in frustration followed by a string of obscenities that would make a sailor blush. Stories are usually assigned on Tuesday, interviews and writing are done on Wednesday, editing and layout on Thursday, the paper comes out on Friday and then another story comes along for Tuesday’s issue nd the cycle begins all over again—and that’s only if everything goes according to plan. Too many times we find ourselves frantically running around and calling people on press day, only to be directed from one department to the other to or to have to leave a voicemail message that never gets returned or worse, to find out that the crucial person you need to interview has left the country for
the week.

There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to just run home and hide away so I could take a break from the non-stop cycle of putting out papers twice a week, but I just keep coming back. I’ve had a few friends tell me that I’ve sold my soul to the Journal and I joke about it too; but the truth is, f I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be here. When I look around at the office, I see a group of students who eat, sleep and breathe the Journal, a staff that are so dedicated to their jobs they should probably be paying rent here.

Early mornings, late nights, skipped meals, neglected homework—not to mention neglected friends and housemates—are common amongst the bunch and rarely do I hear a complaint (okay, maybe the occasional rant). Not only have I met a bunch of talented and hardworking people but I’ve also learned so many things that I could never learn in a classroom—like perfecting the art of stalking,
the skill that every budding journalist needs. No longer do I feel shame when I have to resort to sending Facebook messages to strangers, or leaving post-its on office doors, or calling five, six or 10 times a day to try and find someone to interview. It’s February now and we’ve only got nine issues left. Editor in Chief elections are coming up and soon they’ll be hiring their new staff for next year.

As sentimental as I get when I realize that it’s almost over, I’m excited for the people that will come in and have the chance to experience the insanity as well as reap the rewards of working here. But now is not the time to get nostalgic. The year’s not over yet so it’s time to get back to work and keep on stalking. Let the craziness continue.

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