By Carley Crain
Out of all the columns I have written for The Springfield Student, this might be the hardest one for me to complete. I have been staring at my computer screen for the past few days with a blank mind. How do I close this chapter of my life with one last column?
I’ll start by taking a stroll through memory lane. Coming in as a first-year student, I was so terrified of the newspaper office. I would walk down the stairs every week with knots in my stomach, hoping that my articles were good enough. Hoping that I was good enough.
I kept going, though, every week, even with cross country and track commitments. I started to really enjoy writing game stories, which was my journalistic focus at first. I was hyper-fixated on the idea of me becoming a sports journalist. But when we got sent home during my first year on campus, the priorities I had in life shifted. I started to care less and less about being a student-athlete at Springfield College, and more about my career as a journalist. I also found a place in the sociology world, and eventually, it became a second major.
When my advisor, Kyle Belanger, told me I could make my life easier by graduating early due to high school credits, I chose to ignore that and instead, I actually made things much more difficult: by adding a completely new major. During this time I also stopped running, which was a blessing in disguise. I dove deep into journalism after this, and there was no looking back.
But instead of reporting on just sports, I shifted my focus to writing about social issues, like racism and the LGBTQ+ community. I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. I know that type of journalism is my calling. I have a voice and I’m not afraid to use it.
During my junior year, however, I almost quit the newspaper. I was incredibly close to throwing in the towel. I was tired of the almost daily sexist microaggressions, comments and feeling like everything I did was not good enough. The countless nights crying myself to sleep, anxiety attacks, calls to Kyle where I would be sobbing and the countless trips to my therapist Gary Enright’s office were becoming all-consuming.
But something inside of me kept going down to the damn office. That was such a hard time in my life, but looking back now, I am so proud of myself for sticking with it. I refused to let men control what I was passionate about.
When I got the call from Aimee that Chris and I were going to be Co-Editors-in-Chief of Pride Sports Journal at the end of junior year, I was very confused, because we had never separated the newspaper and magazine before. But I am so glad we did. Making the magazine much more of a team effort was one of the best things we did as a staff this year. And I am so proud of what we created.
My experience at the newspaper and with Pride Sports Journal would not have been possible without some specific people, and I need to thank them.
Chris, you have been the best Co-EIC. We work so well together, and I appreciate everything you have done for the magazine this year. Your layout skills are incredible, and you should be so proud of yourself. I will miss annoying you next year. Also, thanks for coming to Vagina Monologues. You have no idea how much that meant to me.
Garrett, even though we have had some disagreements this year, I am so grateful that we have gotten to know each other during our four years at Springfield. You have made me feel like my voice matters and that what I have to say is important. I hope someday you can appreciate Taylor Swift for the queen that she is, however. Also, thank you for coming to Vagina Monologues. Having your support there means more than you know.
Cait, You have been my newspaper bestie all four years. I don’t think I could have done this without you. I very much enjoy our chats in the office and I look forward to it every week. Thank you for always supporting me. Love you!
Marty, I can’t thank you enough for all of your support over the years. I would not be the journalist and person I am today without you. I always think back to your Introduction to Journalism class, where I wrote my first feature on Arielle Johnson. That class and story changed my life. I will miss you so much next year!
Irene, Thank you for sticking by my side during our shared time at Springfield. I will always remember when you stood up for me after the whole Deshaun Watson fiasco last year. That meant so much to me.
Kyle, I have absolutely no idea what I would have done without you at Springfield. You have always been my biggest cheerleader on campus, and we have become so close. I know I can always come to you with any issue or problem I am having. Thanks for the phone calls when I would be sobbing, office visits and always reading all of the content I have created. Your support means so much to me and is something I will cherish forever. Also, I will be sending you Era’s Tour content, so be prepared.
Aimee, Having such a strong female presence in the office this year because of you has been incredible. I feel so seen, heard, and valued with you in the office. I am so grateful that I have been able to learn from you. We will have to recap the Era’s Tour over the summer via text post-graduation!
And to the rest of the staff, thank you for all of your contributions to campus media this year. Please recruit more women next year, though, and make sure to report on non-sports content!
Outside of the newspaper staff, I have the best support system at work, home, school and my family. Thank you all for everything.
So that is my sappy, farewell column. Much love!
Oh wait, I can’t end without a Taylor Swift quote: “Long story short, I survived.”