I’ve been afraid of change since third grade.
I was so confident my entire life would happen in the Midwest that my 8-year-old self laughed at my parents when they sat me down to say we were moving from Kansas to South Carolina. I thought my life was ending when I realized they weren’t playing some sick joke on me.
And even after I embraced the fact that I’d grow up in the Palmetto State — a change that’s shaped the entirety of who I am — I didn’t stop noticing as life passed by.
Each year, I’d cry walking home from the bus on the last day of school, simultaneously excited for the summer to come but upset that I’d never again experience the same mixture of teachers and friends.
I even carved out a few minutes every day of my senior year of high school to write a letter to my mom so she’d have a book of memories to read through if she ever missed me while I was at college.
But as much as I’m afraid of life changing, I know it’s the only way to grow.
Because I also remember walking into the School of Journalism for my first Daily Gamecock meeting, overthinking everything from what I was wearing to what I knew about journalism.
I remember looking up at the editor-in-chief at the time in such awe, wanting to stand in their position someday, not believing I was actually good enough to do so.
And I remember when I applied for editor-in-chief, I remember when I got the job and I remember all of the long nights, mistakes, triumphs and relationships I’ve made since.
It’s all made me a stronger person and a better journalist.
Right now, I’m scared of leaving The Daily Gamecock. I’m scared my identity is too tied to this paper and that I'll grow apart from the colleagues who have turned into some of my closest friends.
Already, I’ve had so many passions, so many relationships and so many phases of my life that I adored come and go. I know ending this chapter will take some getting used to.
But I'm also ready. I've worked as our paper stopped printing weekly and transitioned into sending daily email newsletters, I carried us through rocky periods of staff-wide burnout and I helped transform The Daily Gamecock into an organization that gives as much to its staffers as it does to the community.
That type of change takes a lot of help. I'd be nowhere without my staff, and The Daily Gamecock wouldn't be the staple it is without getting feedback and story tips from our readers.
Life is a constant circle of change, pushing you out into the unknown, willing you to find your place.
It's going to be scary. It’s easier to stay in your comfort zone than to continue growing. But I've always found new happiness and made new memories.
There's no reason to believe the future won't bring the same unexpected blessings.
Forever to thee,
2022 Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Gamecock