Let’s pave a way forward

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Rebecca Griesbach, Editor-in-Chief

I’ve felt like my life was in crisis a number of times.

As someone who was dubbed “Messy Becky” six hours before her first 8 a.m. class of her college career, I’ve had my share of freshman faux pas that would shake even the most tolerant of sensibilities. 

I’ve also weathered significantly less-laughable seasons. There were moments when I truly struggled to feel welcome or safe on a campus so annoyingly close to home. There were moments when I doubted my potential. There were moments when the air felt stiff and the road ahead unchanging – whether it be from years of reporting on Bad Things™ or from my own silence or stubbornness along the way. 

But as 2020 rears its exceedingly volatile, illuminating, disturbingly random head, there are a host of words and phrases I have begun to hate. Crisis is one of them. Unprecedented is another. And don’t even get me started on “return to normal.”

When the coronavirus reached American shores, I, like many other journalists, were quick to label it a crisis. The news of an indiscriminate virus consumed my life, yet I quickly thought of how I personally would be affected by the economic downturn and a seemingly new threat of the unknown. I worried about my on-campus jobs. I worried about the newspaper. I worried about being in a never-ending state of worry. 

But the truth is this anxiety is not new, crises are every day and the virus does discriminate. As we prepare for an “unprecedented” moment in our campus’ history, your freshman year will be vastly different from your roommate’s and from mine. The health scares, the hires and fires, the not-so-underground organizations and the campus return plans will affect us in various ways – some of which will fail to be addressed.

Now, here is where I could assure you that the campus newspaper will save you from these depths of uncertainty, but I would be lying. I could promise you that a committed cadre of student journalists will restore the University to what it once was, but how lame would that be? I could say that this year’s coverage will be the best and the boldest, and that we’re dedicated to progress in a time of rapid change. But, like most of you, I know we’re going to flail before we can get our bearings. 

I can tell you this, though: We will do our best to tell your sometimes beautifully and sometimes painfully unique stories. I can tell you that we will bust our butts to get answers. And I can assure you that we want to work with you to pave a way forward.

Help us build our vocabularies.

 Call us out when we make mistakes.

 Join our staff.

 And for the love of all that is holy, don’t take the tequila shots!

To see this column in print, check it out on Horizons, the CW’s digital magazine for incoming students.