It was Fall of 2012 when a wide-eyed freshman had her first article published in a collegiate newspaper. She rushed to clip the story out of the newspaper and hang it on the white cinderblock walls of her dorm room. The girl’s roommate was quick to tell her that she shouldn’t be so excited to get her article published. The roommate said that this accomplishment didn’t matter. That freshman who had an undeclared major went on to become the Editor-in-Chief of Millersville’s student-run newspaper, elected by her own peers. Now that girl is writing her last article for the Snapper.
When running for Editor-in-Chief I wasn’t quite sure what direction I wanted to go in, but I knew I wanted to make a difference. I was given the difficult task of keeping the Snapper afloat, despite dwindling budgets and personality conflicts. It was a trying journey and I would have lied if I said the stress didn’t make me want to quit multiple times. But I did as I always do and pushed through.
I fought for this organization with everything in me. That is why it upsets me to witness budget cuts and lack of enthusiasm for college journalism. We are important. I encourage people to support the newspaper. Many people are unaware that we are behind closed doors designing the paper until 2:30 a.m. some nights. As a staff, our passion and drive fueled us when sleep could not. Members who have stuck around for those late nights can explain their love and determination to publish something we were proud of.
Maybe I didn’t always get the credit that I thought I deserved, but at least I can sleep easy at night knowing that I did all I could humanly do. Those who supported me took on the weight of the world. I’d like to thank the retiring newspaper staff of this year along with those returning. Spicer, thank you for guidance and taking on a lot of headaches. Gene, thank you for rooting for me and keeping some people in line. Christine, thank you for being a raw-potato eating friend to me. You let me rant and helped me let it all out on the dancefloor on Wednesday nights at the Village. I will always value your friendship. Marianne, thank you for being my rock and a voice of reason. I’m very grateful that we have become so close this year. You are right, platonic hand holding is the way to go. Julia, thank you for listening and reassuring me. Dan, thank you for taking over in a pinch. Make sure nothing falls off. Allie, thank you for taking on this role as Editor-in-Chief. I have the utmost confidence in your ability. You too are a breadstick from Olive Garden now. Thank you to all the editors before me who have been close friends with words of encouragement.
I’ll miss staying up with the staff, laughing about cats, baking quiches and late night Sheetz runs. To the new staff, I wish you the best. Your enthusiasm excites me and I can leave peacefully knowing the Snapper is in good hands. I’d like to leave you with some advice. Learn from my story. You can only pour so much of yourself into a project before you begin to lose yourself. Take time to value your mental health. Mental health appreciation days are a must in this stressful environment. Always remember that the work you are doing is important. After this, you’ll go on to do significant things in the world.
Believe in yourself. I’m a first generation college student who had to figure it all out on her own. I had little sense of direction and overwhelming social anxiety. Don’t let people like my freshman roommate discourage you. Everyone has to start somewhere, even if it is having one article published in your school’s newspaper. Maybe one day you’ll end up as Editor-in-Chief too.