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A fond farewell

(Photo by Ari Nussbaum)
(Photo by Ari Nussbaum)

I’ve started this goodbye letter four times now, passing the “third time’s the charm” threshold and reaching a level of desperation. There is so much and so little I want to say and it’s all pushing and pulling inside of me. Part of me wants to tell you my whole Mills story, how I waited and waited for my acceptance letter, how much I loved my first moments here, and how the education that taught me to think critically led me to turn my gaze back on the faults of this very school. But maybe that’s too much to go into right now. For now, I’ll tell a different story.

It’s just before midnight on a Thursday, the day after the Black women on campus staged their powerful silent protest on the Tea Shop steps. At The Campanil, we are scrambling to cover it all, to make sure all the voices are heard, and heard correctly. Earlier this same evening, we decided to publish an anonymous letter from a student that ended up being so controversial we received a mass amount of criticism in the few hours it was live on our website. We realized our mistake for publishing it, and took it down. But this midnight, all the tired staff members of The Campanil were up and on their computers, shooting messages back and forth about how to handle the explosion we’d inadvertently caused. At the time, I thought it was one of our saddest moments as a staff. We fought and got overwhelmed and let our emotions get the best of us and argued to the end for our own opinions. I remember going to bed that night with a heavy chest and numb mind.

Looking back just a few months later, I realize it is moments like this that I will miss the most about being the editor in chief of the Campanil. We are a group of passionate, driven women who will argue for what we know is right, even in the face of harsh criticism. Though we take things hard sometimes, we are glad when we are challenged, glad when we are asked to justify our actions. We welcome the chance to understand that we’ve done wrong, like we did the day after our midnight madness when members of the community and the Black Women’s Collective joined us for our impromptu open hours and told us how our actions effected their livelihoods. A good education teaches you to teach yourself, to have the guts to make mistakes, learn from them and keep going. This is what The Campanil has taught me. That’s what Mills has taught me.

At the end of my time here, I am frustrated with a lot of the walls I’ve run into at Mills and the hoops I’ve had to jump through to get where I need to go. I am tired of the mask that the administration wears to cover up what’s really going on and the rhetoric we at The Campanil, and we as students, were often fed in place of truth and honesty. This school has a good number of faults and shortcomings, but I say now that in a certain light I wouldn’t want it any other way. Nothing is perfect no matter where you are, and being a watchdog for this community has made me who I am today: a stronger and more passionate woman than I ever thought I could be, and someone who is proud to call Mills my alma mater, and The Campanil my home.

Tessa Love has worked as The Campanil‘s Editor in Chief since mid-Spring 2013. She will be graduating this semester with a bachelor in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in journalism.

For more graduation-related posts, check out The Campanil‘s designated 2014 Commencement webpage here or click on the “Commencement” link in the upper right hand corner of the header.