I begged my mother to give me Valium for my high school graduation. I sat in a fog on the stage, the speakers blabbing about the future and education and the usual garble. I obviously wasn’t my class’ valedictorian.
And now here I am, staring at another impending graduation. The thing is, I’m terrible at goodbyes. I’m socially awkward at best; despite my seemingly (I hope) tough exterior, I’m actually a softy. I cry at really awkward times, i.e., meeting with my college counselor, rear ending a woman, while singing at a concert. So please, don’t be offended if I slip away unnoticed.
The goodbyes will be particularly arduous with staff members of The Campanil. These crazy, neurotic journalists have put up with more of me than most people should. They’ve had to sit through one too many times of my listening to 30 Rock’s hit “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” shouting the wrong lyrics. They’ve heard enough illicit dating stories to officially write me off as sociopath. Yet somehow, they still pretend to like me.
Now, a little backstory of how I came to The Campanil.
I was first introduced to journalism my junior year in high school. My high school English teacher, also the paper’s advisor, recruited me because he liked my endless, self-indulgent personal essays for some odd reason. I was a staff writer and wrote pretty terrible articles. I could write about myself for days, but other people? I couldn’t have cared less.
Still, my advisor was amazing and somehow beat some of the Bonnie babble out of me, promoting me to Opinions Editor my senior year. I absolutely loved crossing out entire paragraphs of other peoples’ articles with my self-important red pen, scribbling various insults in the margin. I was opinionated, hence my position on the paper.
Despite my ever-so-slight cockiness, it took me until my junior year to join The Campanil. I actually came to a pitch meeting my first semester at Mills back in Fall of 2008, but as I walked in and saw real Mills women at work on a real college newspaper, my heart sank. I was actually intimidated, a rather foreign feeling. I completely stopped doing journalism and decided to focus on my music major.
Toward the end of my sophomore year, though, I began to miss the insane deadlines and frantic meetings of journalism. I interned at the Santa Cruz Sentinel the summer after my sophomore year, falling back in love with the art of the printed word. Seeing the head editors guzzle coffee and chain smoke was medicine for my soul. I was caffeinated head over cheap Target heels.
When I heard that The Campanil needed a new Sports and Health Editor, I told myself it was finally time to join the school paper. I didn’t know anything about sports besides my love of swimming, but I assumed I was okay; if I could figure out how to stop writing about myself so damn much, I could probably learn a thing or two about how to cover athletic events. I came to a pitch meeting, said I wanted to be an editor, and never left.
Sure, it wasn’t easy at first. I essentially had to learn what a soccer ball looked like and that cross country is running. I had a meltdown during my first production outside the office on a lawn chair, but again, I cry at really embarrassing moments. But for the most part, I’ve enjoyed every minute in the newsroom. I’ve found a rather unconventional family – one that gives me too much coffee, feeds me Pop Tarts and helps me produce a pretty hefty portfolio.
So here it is, staff members of The Campanil: thank you for not kicking me out of the office and letting me ramble for a year and a half. You all have given me a sense of home that can be hard to find on an ever-changing campus.
And to the Mills community: thank you for occasionally reading what I have to write.
Okay, I got the goodbyes out of my system. Now join the damn newspaper staff!
— Bonnie Horgos