When I was a kid and my parents would serve me dinner, I’d always wind up stuffing more food in my mouth than I could swallow. I’d divide up the saliva-drenched sustenance into two parts — half for chewing and the other half for storing in my cheeks for later.
My parents would call me a chipmunk.
I’d say I was literally “biting off more than I can chew,” but I despise pretty much all cliches.
It’s fifteen years later, I’m almost done with college and I’m still an ambitious character. I had the opportunity to be the opinions editor of Cardinal Points, so I took it. I had the opportunity to be the Lakeside Canvas editor of DoNorth, so I took it. I had the opportunity to be the editor-in-chief of All Points North, so I took it. My cheeks were stuffed at this point. As this semester comes to an end, I’m sure about one thing — I am so fucking tired.
That’s not to say I don’t love the work I do. My experiences on multiple publications have even furthered my pursuit of becoming a professional journalist, but right now, I don’t want to spend Wednesday nights in an office laying out pages, I don’t want to stare a computer screen and code a website for hours, I don’t want to fact check articles so Pen Air passengers know where to get wine in the North Country.
I want to lie in my sorry excuse for a bed while I try to play my guitar and binge -watch episodes of “Cheers.” I want to go to bars and drink fancy beers and wines. I want to get off my shift at the chicken factory and not have to worry about class the next day.
School and journalism are two of my favorite aspects of life, but they’re not the only aspects of my life. And even though I may not be holding a position on any staff next semester, I still plan to contribute many stories to any school publication that wants them. You get more money for being an editor, but you have more fun being a writer.
In terms of Cardinal Points, I know I’m leaving the opinions section in the capable flannel-covered hands of Laura Schmidt. She’s a cool rocker chick, she writes about touchy subjects, and despite her aloof demeanor, I know she’s excited to be my successor. Just know that you sometimes have to be a hard-ass even if it’s not what you’re used to.
I’m going to change gears a little bit here and ask anyone who’s reading this to do something for me — keep reading. And I don’t just mean the rest of this paper. Keep reading in general, and keep writing for that matter. The written word on a massive scale is one of the privileges for which we as humans, especially those in my generation, show little to no appreciation. If you don’t agree with what you’re reading, challenge it. Start a discussion. Reflect on it.
In all honesty, I don’t know much about President Obama, but I freaking love this one quote of his — “Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with them, you should have an argument with them, but you shouldn’t silence them by saying ‘you can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say.’”
You have voice. Use it. Students, this paper is your outlet. If you want to say something, submit it to the Cardinal Points. Trust me, it’s so much more rewarding than a Facebook post or a Tweet.
Now to switch gears yet again for my goodbyes.
Jess — Seriously, What’s the Buzz?
Reggie — You always came in clutch when I need someone to do video for me.
Maggie — ABC Family movies are terrible.
Winta — Come by my place anytime if you want to look at classy nudes together.
Bailey — You’ll be Cardinal Points’ first mutant managing editor.
Tom — It’s 2015, bro.
Lisa — This just isn’t going to work, dump cakes. I think we should see other people.
Here’s looking at you, Cardinal Points.
Email Griffin Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org