Point counterpoint: fall break allows breather

Justin Law

My job is never done.

As Editor-in-Chief of The Shield, I always consider myself to be “on call.” My job is to be a coach, and it really started to take shape back in July. So until Fall Break came around, I hadn’t had a breather.

I would never trade my job for another; however, one thing that I have learned is that being a campus leader has a way of sucking the life out of me. Suddenly I’m the one that is supposed to have all the answers. I’m the one that gets the phone calls when people don’t like what they read in the paper, but I also get to see my fellow editors, as well as incoming writers, grow and learn what it means to be a journalist.

Journalists have to be tough. We are taught in our most basic reporting classes to develop that “thick skin” early. However even the most experienced, hard-nosed reporters get stressed out over workload and public opinion on occasion. The school paper only gives us a taste of what those experienced reporters in the “real world” deal with on a daily basis.

Fall Break did a lot to alleviate my stress. From Friday evening until Tuesday afternoon I got to spend time with my family, who I haven’t seen since late July. For that short amount of time The Shield, classes even USI was metaphorically dead to me. I could sleep in for as long as I wanted to. I got to have a cookout with my family and I didn’t have to worry about deadlines, phone calls or math class.

So far this year for me has been much like a swim in the ocean. You can’t see the bottom, or what’s lurking below you, and sometimes the waves are so violent they knock you back to shore or just flat out try to drown you. There are those moments where things seem to calm down, but it always means something big is headed your way.

I know I was beginning to feel extremely overwhelmed in the weeks leading up to Fall Break. However, those few days were the equivalent of a life vest for me. At least coming back into it all, I feel like I am treading water.