Letter from the editor: What I've learned
Today marks the last day of the Daily Wildcat’s print run until the spring semester starts. As the Wildcat’s editor-in-chief, and as someone who is approaching her last semester of college, I have learned a lot.
There are lessons I wish I could have passed on to my 18-year-old self, to myself at 20, to whoever I was when I began this semester. And they’re lessons I want to hang on to for when I’m one semester older, into my 30s, 40s, 80s and 90s.
1. Despite some really low lows, your overall experience will be worth it.
There are a lot of things you will want to put behind you — mistakes you made, things you are ashamed of — and you should put those away. They go in a box, to be pulled out when you live lesson No. 2.
Otherwise, don’t let the lows drag down the highs. Your experiences have been and will be rich and rewarding. There were people who made it that way. Trust that there will be more people like that. And remember, they deserve your gratitude. Say thank you.
2. If you are not making mistakes, you are not taking enough risks.
Admittedly, you also learned this semester that not all of your mistakes will be because you’re doing something worthwhile. Sometimes they will happen for no good reason that you can think of at all. When that happens, say sorry.
But most of the time, your mistakes happen because you decided to try something new, and there is always value in that, even if it doesn’t go the way you planned. Your regrets are worth clinging to, not to beat yourself up, but to learn from the experience and come out better because of it.
3. That said, don’t forget to learn from your successes too.
Don’t get tangled up in the things you are not proud of. They are valuable lessons, but only if you know better than to get discouraged by them.
Get untangled by recognizing your own accomplishments, and ask yourself what made those achievements successful.
4. It doesn’t get easier. You just get better.
The Daily Wildcat has been such a defining part of my life for so much of my college career that it’s hard to remember what it was like two years ago or a year later. But if I sit down and really think about it, I realize it’s important to remember that a semester isn’t a long time.
In the grand scheme of things, four years is not a long time at all. But you’re better than you were four years ago. And that’s not because school or work or life got easier, which leads me to the last lesson:
5. Life is only as easy or as hard as you make it.
College is partly about time management and partly about learning to function on less sleep than you ever have before.
But it’s also about your mindset. Approach everything with an open mind and with the belief that it’ll work out. Don’t feel like your revolution has to be a dramatic, gigantic leap overnight. Things don’t really happen like that.
Progress happens in small steps, always one foot in front of the other. Just keep moving.
See all of you in January.