When I first joined Loco Mag, I was younger than the rest of the staff, and found their seniority, confidence, and skill intimidating. I wrote my first few articles with trepidation, feeling very much like a young, dumb freshman. What could I possibly have to say that would be of use? How could my voice bring value to anything? I was new to journalism, new to college, and they were all so experienced. I would have given anything to have half the confidence of any one of them, to know what I wanted to say and feel like it mattered. Considering that I had spent a semester admiring her, I was surprised by Bri’s final Letter from the Editor where she wrote about similar fears and concerns when she had joined Loco as a freshman. How was it that someone so confident and talented could have felt the same way I was feeling? And more importantly, how had she managed to get that confidence?
Just a few short months after I joined the magazine, I wound up Editor in Chief. Everyone else who had been on staff had graduated or was abroad, and I was the only one still around. I felt wildly incompetent, and still, I wondered how I would possibly manage to do this job without any of the confidence that I felt it took to succeed. I worried that no one would write, the staff wouldn’t care, everyone would hate me. Of course, I was wrong – they were eager to put in the work necessary to make Loco a good product we could be proud of. I fielded question after question from our entirely new staff. For some reason, they all looked to me for answers as if I knew anything they didn’t.
I didn’t know then that confidence was something you have to earn, rather than something that can be handed to you in a pretty package. Confidence can only be gained through the unsexy work of showing up every day and slogging through stuff that’s hard in the hopes that when you’re finished, you might look back and realize you feel better than you did when you started. In a lot of cases, I think you probably feel worse. I got lucky that when I look back on my four semesters as Editor in Chief, I feel good.
I was always blessed with a good staff. Everyone has cared about Loco and wanted to make something they were proud of. They’ve been passionate and hard-working. I was also blessed with generous and kind predecessors/mentors, who have always offered reassuring words and guidance when I needed it. And of course, we’re all so grateful to anyone who’s ever read our articles, watched our videos, listened to our podcasts and playlists, clicked through our photo galleries.
It’s appropriate that for my last issue in charge, we chose the theme ‘Chill.’ It’s something that I’ve gained over the past couple of years in this position. Over time, I’ve stopped panicking every time someone asked me a question I didn’t know the answer to. Instead, I take a deep breath, and think to myself of all the other times I’ve solved a problem or made something work better. During publishing week, it feels like there’s no chill to be had at all, since we’re all running around editing, finalizing, and fixing last-minute problems. But with confidence has come the deep-seated chill brought by knowing that I can do anything.
So, dear reader, if you’re looking for chill, I hope you’ll find it in confidence gained after long hours of doing something that you grow to love a little more every day. Maybe that something is just ‘being a person.’ While you’re working at it, I hope that you’ll continue to read Loco Mag so that you and I can watch, together, as it grows and changes and continues to flourish under new direction, and with new and old staff.