When and why we decided to continue
When the first semester of freshman year—WFP—came to a close, it didn’t even cross my mind that I wouldn’t be continuing the path I so haphazardly stumbled upon.
I decided to continue, and I decided to stay, because of the pure rush I feel when a story I’ve worked tirelessly towards gets published and praised. I decided to continue, and I decided to stay, because of words and their splendor. I decided to continue, and I decided to stay, because of the community—my family of wonderfully magnificent people bound together by words and too many emotions and tears.
I decided to continue, and I decided to stay, because something like The Central Trend—an accidental gift from the universe himself—is a once in a lifetime gift and opportunity.
Although there have been days where I question why I do all the work I do, how I even make it through the weeks where I have three interviews in one day and post three stories a week… it’s all too real. It’s all too real.
The horrible three-minute interviews, the metaphorical columns that are based on all-too-real experiences and emotions, the group hugs, the personal hype-ups before pulling someone out of class—it’s why I stayed and why I continue to stay.
It’s all too real, way too vividly real, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Only once did I think of leaving The Central Trend.
Nisha Rajakrishna is the reason I stayed.
It was my second year on staff, I was a sophomore and struggling. We were writing the most I ever had in my life. There were tensions I didn’t understand as a sophomore — but still felt. There were days spent lying under the table doing my work with Nisha and Susannah — days spent talking with Jake and Nisha in the corner. It was a strained time.
I understand now everything that had been going on around me. As an editor, I understand the stress that permeated the room during that season of tension. However, at the time, I simply remember wanting a reprieve from the bitter taste in my mouth.
I remember one day rather vividly sitting with Nisha at the tables made from the floor and raising my concerns to her. I remember tentatively saying I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay.
It was her reassurance, and eventually her promotion to editor for the following year, that kept me on staff — and got me through that time when conversations went above my head and I felt tensions in my gut.
I never made a conscious decision to move from WFP to TCT — it just happened.
But there was a time I had to decide to stay — it’s safe to say I’m glad I did.
I entered WFP with every intention to become a staff member. It was my beautiful reverie, an idealism I fought to make reality. Every story I wrote had to be the best whether it was the best one in that category I had written, the best in class, or even the best of all the stories I had written. I wasn’t going to settle— I needed to prove my worth to all the intimidating upperclassmen who populated the other side of the class.
Because of scheduling issues, I had a semester and a summer before I moved from a junior staff writer in the intro class to a regular staffer in the “advanced” class. But, there was never a time when I questioned if The Central Trend was for me; it just felt right.
As crazy as it sounds, I like hard work, and The Central Trend was—and still is—plenty of work. It pushed me to think critically about the issues I was editorializing, analytically about the piece of entertainment I was reviewing, and introspectively for the topic I was columnizing.
More than that, it pushed me out of my comfort zone with my interpersonal skills. I loved— and still do— floundering through an awkward interview, putting the pieces together in an elaborate linguistic and grammatical puzzle, and feeling the pride and joy after the article is published.
Only now I get to be the one who pushes publish.