I’ve been staring at a blank Google Doc, trying to figure out what to write in my first-ever letter from the editor, for far too long.
Writing without reporting has never been my forte, so I decided to do what I do best and research. As I look back on previous letters from the editor, one theme is clear: We are more important than our work is.
I treated myself to a 10-day vacation between finals and the holidays, and ever since Christmas, I’ve been glued to my laptop, trying to prepare for a year as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Gamecock.
Though typing away on my laptop for hours on end has become the norm for me, my parents don’t often get to see my busy schedule because I don’t live at home anymore.
Earlier this week, my dad walked into the living room, where my computer and I were draped over the couch, and said I needed to have some fun. Moments later, my mom entered the room, said I’d been in the same position for 10 hours, and told me to balance my work with play.
Every editor-in-chief I’ve known has said the same.
“Looking back, I wish I invested as much in my personal relationships as I did my work. I needed the perspective that, yes, our work is important, but our lives outside of the newsroom are, too,” Erin Slowey, the 2020 editor-in-chief, said.
Throughout my time on the paper, I’ve found that I’m quick to neglect working out, to not give myself downtime and to skip out on social hangouts when I’m stressed and when my to-do list is long.
And I know when students prioritize having fun instead of studying, that can lead to those same feelings of stress when deadlines approach. So, let’s try to inch closer to a balanced life this year.
Will you see me in class every day? Yes. Will you see me nestled away in an underground floor of Thomas Cooper? Most likely. Will you see The Daily Gamecock improving our quality of work, listening to our audience and holding our administration accountable? You can bet on it.
But, I’ll also strive to mute my phone notifications when I need to rest, to do a better job of taking care of my physical health and to continue building personal relationships with the people I care about.
And I know I'll be stronger because of it.
“High quality work comes from the ability to periodically rest and choose to pursue activities unrelated to our responsibilities without fear of consequence,” Micah Hansen, the most recent editor-in-chief, said.
I know this year will put pressure on us all, but more than anything, I’m feeling hopeful. Hopeful that we’ll learn how to balance our lives together, and hopeful that we’ll continue growing throughout the process — I know The Daily Gamecock will. We are nothing if not resilient.
The days of journalism being a one-way street have long passed. We want to hear from our community. Tell us what you like, or what we should be doing better, here.
And if you’re a student in search of a community that will have a semester filled with hard work and rewarding play, join our team.
Here’s to finding balance.