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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The art of figuring it out as you go

Peyton McKenzie

The older I get, the more I realize that most of the time, other people also don’t know what the hell is going on.

My first exposure to The Chronicle was behind a tiny Zoom square during the height of a pandemic. That was four years ago, and it’s safe to say that I never would have imagined I’d be leading that same organization eight semesters later.

I didn’t know what I was doing there, besides that they let me write and it was one of my only outlets to the world outside of my first-year dorm. I didn’t know a byline from a headline, let alone how to write news.

Honestly, it took me a long time to come out of my shell. I hid in the metaphorical corner of those online Tuesday night meetings for a year, writing a few news features here and there.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I decided to do something that I was wholly unqualified for and honestly didn’t understand the extent of, that Chronicle really became my thing. Not knowing what the editorial board did or what any of the positions meant, I decided to apply, checking every single box on the application — from design editor to managing editor — undoubtedly puzzling former Editor-in-Chief Michael Sicoli, (I think I only skipped the sports roles).

Even though he saw I had no clue what was going on (and definitely didn’t have any graphic design experience outside of COM130), Mike decided to extend the then-recently established role of copy editor to me, and the rest was history.

But even then, I mostly kept to myself. Then, I got thrown into the deep end as news editor in my junior year — and I had to tell the imposter syndrome to shut up and have confidence in my abilities. Though I definitely drowned a few times before I learned how to swim.

But through it all, I learned that I can do hard things, from covering difficult stories to helping other editors through the process.

There truly was nothing I felt less qualified for than being editor-in-chief of this organization. It feels silly looking back at it now, but I thought The Chronicle would go up in flames under my leadership. But as I talked to more and more people in the organization, I realized that we were all just figuring it out as we went.

And at the risk of sounding cliché, I never would have gotten there without the people around me — my fellow editors, my professors and my friends and family. They gave me the grace to figure it out, let me make mistakes and allowed me to complain about 12-hour-long days in the media suite.

I don’t want to make it sound like it was all hard work; getting to do what I love while hanging out with a group of talented journalists, photographers, designers and creators has been pretty fun.

Nowadays, there’s still plenty of times I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. Being an adult is weird, especially when you’re entering a dying industry with nothing but a college degree and a dream. I’m sure there’s plenty I don’t know about life just yet. But the people who came before me didn’t always know the way either, and they did just fine.

As I leave here, I keep reminding myself that it’s OK to not have all of the answers all of the time.

So in the words of renowned academic Winnie the Pooh, I’ll leave future editors and editors-in-chief (looking at you, Alexandra Martináková) with these parting words: “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

Thank you to my e-board, managing board and all of the editors before me who pushed me to do hard things. And most of all, thanks, Chron.

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About the Contributors
Katie Langley
Katie Langley, Editor-in-Chief
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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    RichardApr 27, 2024 at 12:20 am

    Katie, thank you for all of your excellent articles, especially your reporting on the QU Physician Assistant program. Your dedication to the truth has given a voice to the many students affected. They are all grateful for brining to light the issues that they faced. We wish you the best for your future endeavors.