Former Lifestyle Editor
I guess I can admit now that I more or less got roped into this whole editing gig.
Before I started editing Lifestyle, I was fine just being a section writer. It was easy, low-commitment. It was a way for freshman me to “expand my bubble”—just a little bit.
Last May, though, people weren’t exactly lining up to replace the Lifestyle editor, and our section was pretty small, so the torch got passed on to (foisted onto) me.
And, you know, I’m glad it did.
Admittedly, it took a small adjustment period. I mean, I’ve never really been officially “in charge” of anything, let alone anyone.
My very first issue as editor—the decisive start of my Fall semester as a senior—was…staff-less. (Like, there were tumbleweeds rolling around in the little yellow room of the Sears House.)
I ended up writing it all myself, and I may have panicked a little bit over the idea of never getting anyone else to write for me. I may also have been a teensy bit pushy and desperate when I was manning the Elm table at Club Fair.
One way or another, though, I ended up with a few writers, after all. Shout-out to my awesome staff over these two semesters, Vanessa, Amanda, and Brian. Beautiful work all around, folks. Really, I’m not just saying that to be nice.
The two goals I had in mind as section editor, the goals I started with and stuck by, were: 1. Establish an identity. 2. Support diversity and “fresh ideas.” That is, always look for a way to put a new spin on things.
The voices and stories that are routinely getting left out of the category of “noteworthy”—women’s voices, the voices of people of color, LGBTQ voices—are ones that I wanted to put at the center of Lifestyle’s identity while I was overseeing it.
I hope that mission came across clearly. And if not, there are always opportunities to do better work.
I’m honestly going to miss the weekly staff meetings, even the times InDesign was driving me crazy. The whole Elm team is really a fun and genuine bunch (with all the best goss.)
I wish all the best for the next Lifestyle editor, Gabby Rente. I know she’ll rock it.
The great thing about Lifestyle is that it never seems to hold the same shape for very long.