The most difficult experiences are the most rewarding

Melina Khan, Former Editor-in-Chief

I’ve heard a lot of people say “college is the best years of your life.” They neglect to say it’s also often the hardest, most demanding and confusing years of your life.

I started college at the peak of the COVID pandemic. What I remember most about my first year is the uncertainty I felt towards everything. From social distancing to what I wanted to do with my life, I had no idea what the future held.

I would’ve never guessed that three years later, I would be pursuing a career as a journalist and leading my college newspaper.

I never wanted to be a journalist, but I joined the Chronicle in an attempt to get involved on campus and augment my writing skills. I quickly realized my passion for news and storytelling, but still never thought I had what it took to be a journalist; I hated talking to people and had major social anxiety.

It wasn’t until I covered my first breaking news story — a story about an assault on campus — that I realized the magnitude of not only the Chronicle but journalism entirely. After that, I took a leap of faith and changed my major to journalism. Just a year later, I was named the leader of this organization.

Being the editor-in-chief of the Chronicle has been the honor of a lifetime. From long days in the media suite, the late night Google Docs edits and the debates over headlines, there’s so much I will miss, even in the mundanity.

I never saw myself as a leader. I never even saw myself as a journalist, let alone a good one. If I hadn’t met the right people along the way, I would’ve never felt capable of everything I’ve had the opportunity to do.

There’s so many people to thank; former News Editor Emily Flamme supported me as I learned the ins and outs of the AP Stylebook, former Editor-in-Chief Michael Sicoli helped me stop second guessing myself and Dean of the School of Communications Chris Roush was the first person to tell me to go for editor-in-chief.

There’s countless others I could mention who have supported me over the past three years, but at the end of the day, they all taught me a big thing; I already had it within myself to succeed, I just needed to find the confidence to do so.

It can be draining, difficult and even isolating at times to do this job. Over the past year, I’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions, cover a lot of difficult stories and have a lot of tense conversations. There’s so much that goes into the Chronicle, and being editor-in-chief, that people don’t see.

On the hardest days, I stopped taking care of myself and neglected my mental and physical health. I lost sight of my own well-being because of pent up stress and anxiety. I even doubted whether I was strong enough to do this job without losing myself in the process.

But on the best days, I spent hours with some of the best people I’ve ever known while being made fun of for how I say “room,” all the while dropping my meal points on mac and cheese and begging people to bring coffee to the weekly coffee and critiques meeting.

On the best days, we published stories that enacted change and held people accountable. We etched into perpetuity some of the university’s most historic moments, from a massive campus renovation to a national championship. We broke stories that people cared about.

It’s easy to look back and see all the hard stuff — the things that you’ll probably think about for the rest of your life and the decisions you wish you could change.

But I can undoubtedly say it’s much easier to look back and see all the good — the endless laughter, the people you’ll never forget and the fulfilling nature of this work.

I think that’s why people describe these years as the best ones — because the best things in life are sometimes also the hardest. Regardless, I wouldn’t change it for the world; The Quinnipiac Chronicle changed the trajectory of my life. For that, I will forever be grateful.