The Spectrum, From Our Perspectives
BY SENIOR CHIEF STAFF 2022-2023
Part 1: Freshman Year (Emily, Graduating Co-Editor-in-Chief)
Your feet pad against Upper South’s freshly waxed vinyl floors. You pause, look around, and tap on the shoulder of the shortest person who looks like they could also be a freshman.
“Hey, is this Spectrum? My mom is making me join.”
You hear a cough from behind you. You turn around.
“It’s The Spectrum, actually,” says a scary-looking upperclassman.
Little did you know that this wouldn’t be the last of your grammar woes.
You’ve settled down into your Thursday afternoons at The Spectrum.
You place your fingers on oily computer lab desktops and chow down Joe Joe’s snacks.
You’re two issues into The Spectrum, and you think that maybe this whole writing thing is alright.
Now, when your section editor does approach you, you no longer turn bright red. You feel accomplished knowing what a thesis is! How to write an outline! And sometimes, you get excited at the prospect of going down another research rabbithole.
I can’t wait for our Spring Issue to be published, you think. It’d be great to bring a copy of my article home to Mom and Dad!
You never did get that copy back to your parents. You suppose that the newspaper takes a backseat when it comes to dealing with Corona.
Part 2: Sophomore Year (Grace, Graduating Op-Ed Editor)
Your fingers tremble slightly as you click on the Zoom link. It’s a new year, and you’ve decided to take a leap of faith and join The Spectrum again. But doubts start flooding your mind as you hit the blue join button.
“Hi!” The cheery voice of an upperclassman greets you as you see members of the hallowed newspaper fill your Chromebook screen. You nervously wave back, and all too soon, it’s your turn to answer their icebreaker question.
“My favorite potato is…a sweet potato.” You blink repeatedly and brace yourself for the backlash. Instead, you’re pleasantly surprised when you hear this:
“Aw, that’s great!” Peering at the screen, you see acceptance. You feel validation like you’ve never experienced before, and all of a sudden you know you’ve found your people.
Soon, you’re reading comments from your section editor and looking forward to the one-on-one meetings you schedule. One long issue later, you relish the thrill of seeing your name on the website, above your freshly-published article.
A couple months later, you finally meet The Spectrum staff in person, but when you reach East Commons, you careen to a sudden stop. Your eyes gaze upwards as you finally meet the eyes of the chaff you’ve gotten to know online.
Part 3: February 2022 (Adi, Graduating Co-Editor-in-Chief)
Over a year has passed, and you’ve risen up the ranks in the Spectrum brigade.
Let’s face it: you’re starting to become a senior citizen compared to the doe-eyed freshman. As such, your role in the good ol’ Speccy has changed from mentee to mentor. You now are the first person to answer the weekly icebreaker—with absolutely no pressure or death glares from the Editors-in-Chief to do so. 152W is your home. Nirvana—or self-actualization for you Maslow fans—has been reached.
Part 4: March 2023 (Us!)
Your feet pad against Lower West’s freshly waxed vinyl floors. You wave at underclassmen as they file into the room, and you lean back in your chair as you gaze at your nervous-looking protegés (your new 2023–2024 Chaff!). It’s your last day at The Spectrum, but you’re not sad (yet).
You’ve lived a fulfilling life at The Spectrum; you’ve rolled down the Upper South hallway in spinny chairs at 8 PM on a Friday; you’ve sang Ed Sheeran karaoke and jammed out to BTS in the Mac Lab; and you’ve found a community in 152W.
You’re not sad that you’re leaving, no; you’re grateful for the time you’ve spent laughing, crying, scribbling, arguing (in good nature), and just existing with everyone who’s made The Spectrum possible.
At 4 PM, you smile to yourself as you leave 152W for the last time, closing the door on your chapter at The Spectrum.