Learn from your mistakes, don’t run from them

Janna Marnell, Creative Director

Those that know me are aware that Tuesdays are my busiest days. For the past three and a half years, I have been involved with The Quinnipiac Chronicle. 

You would also know that I have changed my major four times to ultimately decide on being a graphic and interactive design major — or just another art major. I have been tormented by past roommates and old friends along the way, telling me my passion will take me nowhere in life. Because of that, I would like to thank those of you for the push and motivation I needed. 

I am somewhat introverted until you truly get to know me, and I then become compassionate, talkative and someone who will love you for you. 

I thrive on making people experience what is real and uncomfortable because you should be pushed to your limits.

My first infographic at The Chronicle was one for the record books — four horrible misspellings published online and in the paper, where no one copy-edited the new designer. 

Janna Marnell

That was my legacy. That was what I was known for. 

After an embarrassing moment, I vowed I would never come back in the media suite because how could I return after messing up that bad. Until Sarah Doiron, the Editor-In-Chief, at the time, once again pressured me to come back because mistakes happen and no one will remember them. 

The design team of Kristen Riello and Christina Popik took me back weeks later, reminding me that it was my first graphic, and I can only go up from there. 

I constantly remind myself that this was the starting point and that these amazing people saw something in me that I never thought I would see in myself. During these past two years, Madison Fraitag and Popik pushed me to be the amazing designer I believe I am now. 

Throughout my last year with the student newspaper, I learned what it was like to be a leader. To climb up through an organization with love, this was not like in high school where everything was a popularity contest. You are promoted because of the talent you have. 

From a horrible speller to the Creative Director in just two short years, I have seen what greatness can do. 

Every student-run organization has their ups and downs, and The Chronicle was not an exception. It was up to three amazing leaders that put The Chronicle back on the map to flourish. Bryan Murphy (Editor-in-Chief), Alexis Guerra (Managing Editor) and I (Creative Director) wanted to keep the love and family we grew to appreciate. 

We updated our online content to match the ever-lasting evolution of the web and made the physical paper more aesthetically pleasing for people who want to pick it up. 

Who would have thought that I was preparing for a pandemic to truly show why I wanted to make these changes? 

Unfortunately, I will not be able to give my proper goodbye to my amazing staff and my co-workers, but they know how much I have seen them improve and change to adapt to this historic event. 

To the future Chronicle staffers and leaders, there is nothing in the world that can stop you. This pandemic is just a bump in the road and a learning opportunity for you. We are journalists, and we will still share and write our articles even if we are states apart from each other and the media suite. Although we could not have a proper transition for you guys, you all know more than you realize. 

Connor Lawless, the new Creative Director, you reminded me day in and out why I chose to come back to The Chronicle after making my first graphic. Your passion and willingness to learn inspires me to keep going to prove that there is greatness everywhere. As you begin taking my place this last month of the semester, remember one thing: There are no mistakes, only learning experiences to better figure out who you are as a leader and a designer. I may not have been able to teach you everything I have learned, but I know you will leave The Chronicle with more knowledge than what I would have been able to teach you. 

As for my managing board, you guys are the reason I got my confidence back when I was at my lowest. You reminded me that we are here because we want to be here. We wanted to make a change for this organization and for it to succeed long after when we have passed the torch. You guys are the reason I stayed, even if we didn’t truly know each other before we took over. I can honestly say that you guys are my true family. 

To the entire graphic and interactive design department and journalism professors reading, thank you for not only teaching me, but for encouraging students like myself, to pursue their passion. If I needed advice for my future or this organization you were always there to help.

As I finish up my last semester, from home, you begin to reminisce about the “lasts” that would have happened. Unfortunately, I will not be able to have my last May weekend, my last Friday night aunchies or be able to sit on the quad with my friends debating about skipping class on a nice day. Somehow, all of that does not hurt as bad as missing my last Tuesday deadline and my last staff meeting, giving my last goodbyes to the staff and e-board members that still remain. 

The Quinnipiac Chronicle, I thank you for letting me discover my passion and showing me what effect hard work and amazing people can have on me. The managing board and I have left you in very good hands, just like the board before us did. I only see success and progression in the future. Remember to not take your last year for granted.