Edit Desk: Disruptions lead to growth

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Beautifully-named folders, compressed files and linked photos. That’s what I see as design editor when I open my Google Drive.

My first lesson in editing was to make sure my workflow was impeccable. This required me to dive down the rabbit hole that is my Google Drive and clear out the junk. In doing so, I recovered my Common App essay. The last edit made was on Sept. 30, 2017.

Of course, it was full of obnoxious adjectives and boastful comments about my history, but beneath the clutter laid a message from T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

It’s ironic that I chose to write about a poem from AP Literature about reflection and risk when applying to the business school at Lehigh. The thing is, I never knew writing was in my future, let alone design.

With a family history of success in the business world, I firmly believed my path was already set out for me. I found success in all of my high school classes no matter the subject and never favored a class over another. 

I boasted about studying in Rauch in my “Lehigh Family” essay, compiled my test scores with pride and sent off my Early Decision application to Lehigh. 

Fast forward to December, I was accepted. Keep playing the tape into summer, I registered for classes. On the first semester lineup I had Intro to Business, Business Calc and Principles of Economics and Oceanography. 

I could go into details of the battle that consumed me from registration until a month into school, but to keep it short, I was miserable.

Acknowledging the state I was in, I consulted the director of student support and came up with a plan to let my parents know that I wanted to drop a class.

Do I dare 

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. 

T.S Elliot’s words, his ideas … that’s what I feared most. 

Do I dare disturb the universe and travel off the linear path that was set out for me?

The thing is, I couldn’t name a full business degree that would satisfy me. I wouldn’t wake up motivated. I wouldn’t be eager to try new things and succeed. I recognized the need for immediate change and pinpointed the class that cut out the most stress in my life.  

With plenty of tears and no real plan for the future, I got the approvals I needed to drop a class.

It was Sept. 18, my first semester in college, and I had a W on my transcript. 

That decision, which seems I contemplated for too long, relit my flame.

For the rest of the semester I prepared to switch out of the business school and registered a full load of classes with the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Now it’s January. I’m in my first journalism class, when I find out that “lead” is a different word than “lede.” 

If it wasn’t clear, I would have to step my writing game up a notch. 

I was never on my high school newspaper. My experience, if any, comes from the writing fellows class at my high school. Now, I have 15 published articles in The Brown and White.

I strayed further away from that linear path and chose to pair my journalism major with a graphic design minor. Again, I’d taken one art class in high school at this point. 

I knew The Brown and White’s design team needed help when we went remote last spring. I finished my reporting credit as a designer and took a leap of faith when fall editor applications were released. This fall, I’m the design editor with no prior experience in the newsroom. 

The remote design process is long and tedious. I’ve never worked harder, but I’ve never felt this much purpose. To be passionate about that purpose is an unmatched feeling.

To no one’s surprise, I was up until 2 a.m. getting this year’s first print edition done. And of course I messed up …  I got that call the next morning at 8 a.m. when I damaged the files while sending them to the printer. 

It’s always been in me, the side that loves to create and share ideas with the world. I needed that push from Prufrock, the man that measured out his life with coffee spoons, risking it enough to get by, but never risking it all to be satisfied. 

I’ve had my fair share of risks. I’ve swung and I’ve missed, but at least I stepped up to the plate. 

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