Jaime Naylor | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian
“Teach me how to say goodbye.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton (Can you guess my favorite musical yet?)
When I started at Wright State in fall 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, I was not looking to be involved on campus or become a journalist until one afternoon when I was sitting bored out of my mind in my dorm room, and I got an email about a virtual involvement fair. I hopped on to a list of organizations’ Webex rooms. Only one, The Wright State Guardian, caught my eye. I popped on the Webex, where the hosts and I spent the next five minutes haggling with computer cameras and microphones. When we got sorted, this girl named Makenzie Hoeferlin, the EIC at the time, started talking to me about the publication and all the opportunities. To be frank, I was quite intimidated by her but, I thought to myself, “Why not?” After a more formal interview, I started at the Guardian as a contributing political writer, covering the 2020 election—yes one of the biggest national elections in recent U.S. history—as a person who has never done journalism before.
I was way out of my league and in over my head, yet I was hooked. I took every edit, every piece of advice, every small thing from my editors and ran with it. And I soon found out that my editors were not that scary after all, and they actually became my close friends and mentors. Later in spring 2021, I changed my major to media studies and started to move up in the organization, going from a contributing writer all the way to editor-in-chief in May 2022.
This is by far the hardest job I have ever done, and there have been days I have sat at my desk sobbing over stories and the stress of everything, wanting to throw up my hands in defeat. But, I persisted, and I’m so glad I did because I have met so many amazing people, had so many unique opportunities, once-in-a-lifetime moments and have gained so many skills I will use when I enter the post-grad workforce. And now, after three whirlwind years, it is time for me to pass off the organization to new leadership and ensure that the leaders who come after me have the same opportunities I had. At the end of the day, being EIC is not about me or any person who has had this position, it is about the organization and community.
While I will miss the organization and the people a part of it, I know the leaders I am passing it to are just as strong and capable. I have no idea what is next for me, but at least I can rest easy knowing the organization I have loved and put my whole soul into will continue to be the landmark for free speech and community advocacy on Wright State’s campus.
Lastly, I want to thank my editors, my current staff, my community and everyone I have ever interviewed or done a story with and our readers for helping me throughout my journey and for helping me grow both as a journalist and person. Mackenzie, Alexis W. and Dylan C., you have forever positively impacted me, and Emily L., you were the support I needed as EIC and to the new EIC Alexis L. and Digital Managing Editor Monica B., you are the support the organization needs.
Wishing all a positive journey full of the love and joy you have shown me,