Here’s to you

I can say with the utmost sincerity that this year was the hardest year of my life.

Of course, I’m young. There’s always time for a reign of chaos to sneak up on me when I’m 42, but for right now, 21 has been rough.

Personally, professionally and academically I struggled. It all seemed to tie into the other and wanted to be bothersome all at the same time.

I spent the majority of fall semester in tears, attempting to hide them from people who would have tried to take my stress upon themselves. I spent the rest of the time feeling like I wasn’t enough.

Praise from anywhere was a fleeting feeling. No one had the ability to be louder than the voice in my head.

A while ago, someone whose opinion matters greatly to me said I was “the most emotional person” they knew. I didn’t take it as an insult or a compliment. It seemed more a statement of fact.

But this year it was more of a barrier, causing me to question and dive deeper into issues than I should. If something went wrong I could easily twist it into somehow being my fault.

All that said, this year also taught me more than any other year of my life. It taught me my limits (oh, how I tested them) and solidified my passion for journalism.

It showed me that even in my hardest year I’m surrounded by luck and love — the two biggest things that have gotten me to this point.

The issue you are reading is my last as editor-in-chief. I’ve cherished this organization, and the people in it, more than they could ever imagine. It’s awarded me connections, confidence and confidants, all of which I hope last past my December graduation.

This is my meager attempt at a thank you.

Thank you to the people who kept me going this year whether you knew it or not.

A surface level problem was very rarely that for me this year. The talks, meals or even simple texts we had often helped me through a day. They probably offered me much more than the simple distraction you hoped to provide.

This year will fade; my memories of it most likely will too.

But I can guarantee my love and respect for all of the people The Shield brought into my life, directly or indirectly, will not.