Editor’s Note: Closing a chapter without closure

Out of all of the experiences I thought I would have during my undergrad, I never thought I would be completing my final issue as Editor-in-Chief of The Cord in the midst of a global pandemic.

It’s difficult to find the right words to conclude a year that’s been challenging in more ways than I could have ever imagined but has given me so much in return.

Three weeks ago, I had our final papers planned, with detailed ideas of how we would approach each cover, the content that we would be working on and, most importantly, a final production that would complete the year as every other EIC before me has done in the past — with cheap (but well-earned) champagne, group photos and a bittersweet feeling of accomplishment.

News surrounding COVID-19 developed so quickly that I didn’t give myself time to process the scope of its impact and what it would mean for this little student newspaper that I’m so passionate to be a part of.

I was excited to end this term with my team and I looked forward to send-offs that would transition me into the next phase of my life with a sense of closure and fulfillment.

I’m very grateful that spring convocation and our organization’s annual volunteer awards have been postponed, instead of cancelled completely, but I can’t help but feel sad about their deferrals regardless.

Graduation celebrations will be muted and put on pause, and my already written, sappy speech that I would have given at our end-of-year party will sit unopened in a note on my phone.

There are people I shared classes and worked with throughout the term who I likely won’t see again.

It’s unfortunate for countless students all over the world that this is the way their university and college years are coming to a close.

I have so much gratitude for the wonderful people I was privileged to meet and work alongside because of this job and I can’t express how appreciative I am for the opportunities I’ve been given as a result.

I met one of my closest friends through The Cord, and it was because of her that I even considered applying for the position of EIC in the first place (so thanks for that, Safina).

I’m so different from the shy volunteer who applied on a whim almost four years ago, that it’s difficult to believe that I’m the same person.

If you were a Cordie, then you know that it’s an experience like no other.

I’ve been lucky to have a group of people by my side who have helped make this publication come to life each week.

So, it only makes sense for my last Editor’s Note is dedicated to them.

To Kash, thank you for being the entertainment I never asked for but didn’t know we needed on Tuesday nights. Your willingness to tackle whatever task we needed you to do (even if it was midnight), saved us more times than I can count.

Jamie, I have never met someone who is so easy to work with and is always ridiculously fashionable while she gets a job done. Your kindness and cute graphics are two things I have valued since our first issue.

Victoria, thank you for your impressive knowledge of CP style and for the unending commitment you showed your volunteers — there was never a week where I didn’t hear them all laughing and having a good time.

Mark, you have grown so much as an editor since you started and I’m so proud of how far you’ve come. You’ve been dedicated from the start and that shows in the articles you produced, especially for these last few issues.

Kathleen, you’re definitely cooler than I’ll ever be, but I could always count on you to do the work you needed to do and to laugh at my late-night rants.

Always on time with her article submissions and up-to-date on pop culture trends that I don’t understand in my old age, Jade, you pulled through with content every week.

Ranjit, from the second I hired you earlier in the semester you took on every little thing that I asked you to do without complaint and filled that role better than I thought anyone could in just a few months.

Darien, you produced beautiful photos that have become some of my favourite pieces of the paper this year. I have no idea how you balance everything in your busy life and remain so down-to-earth and easygoing in the process, but I’m thankful you decided to share your talent with The Cord. 

Sophia, you are one of the most quotable people I’ve met who never complained about the work you were asked to put into this paper. You filled the gaps whenever you were needed and your positivity, love of dogs and impressive taste in Netflix shows made Tuesdays enjoyable and filled with the most memorable discussions.

I’m so pleased that the EIC reigns are being handed over to such a capable leader and talented writer and editor. Alyssa, you deal with every situation, no matter how difficult, with humour and humility. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish during your year because I know it’s going to be amazing.

If a production had Hayley present, then it would be guaranteed to have constant laughter and five articles written at the last minute if I needed them. Your hilarious commentary, fierce loyalty and ability to add sunshine to any dark day, no matter what, made making this paper so much fun. You’re a star, Hayley.

I wouldn’t have made it through this year without one person in particular, though, and I owe so, so much to her. Brit, you are the hardest working person I know and I have unending pride for the incredible covers and layouts that you created for The Cord week after week. You helped me survive countless stressful nights, and your constant encouragement and support at 2 am over Cineplex popcorn and reality TV episodes helped more than you can ever know. Thank you for everything you put into this paper.

Although this isn’t the way I envisioned our last issue to go, I’m so happy with the papers we managed to publish. No matter what direction my future goes in, The Cord has had one of the biggest influences on me in my adult life.

The dingy Regina street office and the people in it mean the world to me, and I know how much I’ll miss it.

With the state of the world so dreary and dark, I can at least take comfort in knowing that I ended my time at Laurier with the people I care about, doing what I love most.

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