Reflections: It’s Been a Good Run

Kamille Ritchie, Cactus Editor

As May quickly approaches, the reality becomes clear. This will be the last editorial I write for the Cactus. No longer will my face will be inside the first page of this newspaper. Am I happy? Yes, because I am moving to the next stop on the road to my degree. However, I also feel melancholic about this whole thing. The Cactus is my baby. Although this newspaper has been the cause of sleepless and stressful nights, (God bless coffee), it has provided me a blank canvas where I have voiced my opinion on almost anything.

When I started writing for the Cactus in 2015, I was excited, but I also didn’t know what to expect. Am I cut out to write for a newspaper? I felt immense pressure to show my worth as a newcomer. I’ve encountered many obstacles, and although I was not ready to deal with them, I had to adapt and face them. You’d be surprised how much this job is figuring it out as you go. Many times, an event will not turn out as expected and I would have to improvise, while remaining accurate, to save my story. After the struggle to expand the article, sometimes it would not run. It is gut-wrenching to scrap an article and start a new one. Trust me, the process of starting an article is no cake walk. Sometimes, I wanted to pull my hair out. However, when you see your name, your words in print, you forget all the pain you endured to get there. While I have not had a child, I can only imagine the relief I experience is similar to the joy a woman feels after she gives birth, or not. I’ll get back to you on that analogy in ten plus years.

Probably the hardest obstacle I faced during my time at the Cactus was politics. Whether it was writing about the subject or dealing with them at school, it was exhausting. It is one thing to write about politics, from an emotional perspective, but if you don’t want to look like a fool, you have to take your emotions out and research and fact check everything. Prior to writing for the Cactus, I had a casual relationship with the news. I would read or watch it here and there, only diving in further if it caught my attention; now I can’t help but check the news daily. This is mainly to check up on our Commander in Chief, and I also like to check what’s going on at a local, national, and global scale.

I can honestly say writing for the Cactus has been enlightening and changed my experience at CAC. My time with the Cactus has been nothing but rewarding. In many ways, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I can interview a stranger and live to write the story. (I’ve experienced social anxiety most of my life). I can handle conflict and pressure in a professional setting (Spring 2016, that is all I am going to say). I can cope with stress associated with meeting deadlines (Although I feel this is something we can all relate to). While the Cactus has allowed me to continue building my writing skills, the newspaper has also made me more aware of what’s going on in this country and around the globe. If you have read past editions, you’ll know the subjects of my articles can sometimes be all over the place.

So, in response to my question above; I think I am cut out for it, I have managed to survive so far. This is mainly due to my staff. Being a part of the Cactus has given me the opportunity to work with so many talented and diverse individuals. While many have come, and gone, they have all left their mark on this paper and on this writer. I know this sounds cheesy, but I care for the people I work with here at the paper. They have helped mold the Cactus into what I wanted it to be. Although I am leaving, I hope the bond we have created lasts. Sue, thank you for not censoring me, and for your guidance. Your encouragement has been invaluable. To my Cactus troops, thank you for providing amusing, gripping, and captivating stories for our newspaper. It has truly been an honor to serve with you.