In the movie, Training Day, Ethan Hawkeâ€™s character describes the streets as smiles and cries.
My time with this publication has definitely been a period of smiles and cries for me.
As I moved up the ranks from staffer to Editor-in-Chief, I gained experience that I couldnâ€™t have found in any other place.
I learned to deal with a variety of people. I also learned what it means to put blood, sweat and tears into something that you loved and loathed all in the same breath.
From my first time sending the newspaper to the printer, a definite night of tears, to spending time with new friends that are on staff, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster.
I am ready to get off now; I am kind of dizzy.
When I decided to apply for the EIC position, I honestly didnâ€™t know what I was asking for.
I thought I knew pretty well what was in store for me.
Little did I know that I would have a lot in common with an ER surgeon — constantly on call, day and night. I also didnâ€™t know how hard it would be to keep my mental health intact while managing a whole newsroom.
Over time, I have come to discover how to weed out the mess and not answer my phone. Working around 50 hours a week between three jobs, including this one, is suicide.
Toss in some school work and keeping up with relationships, and the result is a cranky zombie who seems to have foam in the corners of her mouth.
Mental health days are key with this job. Now I stand at the end of my tunnel with my last newspaper underfoot and the light of graduation luring me into the real world.
I am perplexed that I made it through.
I didnâ€™t receive the hate mail or death threats that I desired. However, I feel that I have leapt through my proper hoops of fire with a ball and chain around my limbs and neck with all the grace that I could muster.
It is exhausting and refreshing to know that I am still standing.
For all the graduating seniors at Western, I am sure you know how I feel. We have made it through.
When we receive our slice of heaven/piece of paper that means we have suffered for the sake of education, we should smile proudly.
Not everyone gets to do this, and I know you know several of your peers that will not graduate for a while or even at all. I have received more than an education here at Western, I have received life experiences that I will never forget, funny stories that I shouldnâ€™t tell in public and lifelong friends who have helped me through the toughest times and laughed with me when the only other option was to cry. Standing on the brink of the rest of my life, I am reminded of the young, nearly naÃ¯ve girl who came to Western in 2002. She had dreams of becoming a journalist and writing for a newspaper.
She did that and much more.
That nearly naÃ¯ve girl is gone now and a terrified woman stands in her stead unsure if she wants to take that next step, but ready for it.