Goodbye, and thank you

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Ending my reign as queen of the Martlet

Photo by Sie Douglas-Fish.

The thought of leaving the Martlet always seemed like a distant possibility. I had stored a drafted goodbye letter in the back of my brain’s filing cabinet, collecting dust over the years. When something monumental happened, I would bring out that letter, dust it off, and shape it accordingly. I always filed it away again with a latent dissatisfaction, feeling like the words didn’t fit. 

But as I sit here in my apartment — my de facto newsroom during this past year of remote work — my fingers can’t type fast enough. I’m ready. 

After being with the Martlet since January 2018, I am moving on to other opportunities. Although there is so much I would like to say about the experiences I’ve had, I mostly just need to say thank you.

First of all, thank you to my family: my parents, my brother, my grandparents, and my extended family. My parents allowed me to start a school newspaper from our at-home computer in grade four. They still retweet nearly everything I write. 

Thank you to my partner and my closest friends for supporting me, sending me story ideas and tips, and never growing tired of me asking ‘hey do you know of anyone I can interview?’. 

Thank you to the Martlet’s board and my colleagues, both past and present, for teaching me how to be the journalist I’ve become. It has been the greatest pleasure to watch all of you grow into budding journalists, or excel in other careers.  

Thank you to everyone that has spoken to me in an interview over these past few years. From high-profile people to first-year UVic students, I feel so grateful that this position allowed me to peak into the lives of so many people in the Victoria community. 

I especially want to thank the Indigenous students, faculty members, and communities that have allowed me to tell their stories. I’m especially grateful that Indigenous writers felt comfortable to bring their stories to us and share them through our outlet. I hope the Martlet continues to be a welcoming place for Indigenous students, faculty, and staff going forward. I certainly acknowledge that it wasn’t always this way. 

Thank you to the broader Victoria community, including the UVic faculty that have supported us, the journalists that have donated their time to mentoring our team, and our readers. Thank you to all of the people that took the time to message me nice things about our work. Those messages kept me going through some of the toughest days of this pandemic. 

Although I am grateful, it would be unrealistic to reflect on my time as Editor-in-Chief without mentioning the negatives. I would like to express how hurtful it has been to have been harassed, threatened, and defamed during my tenure. I do not want to focus any more energy on these events, but the fact that these experiences were my reality makes me extremely worried. I think unbridled hate towards the media is a growing phenomenon that will prevent other young journalists from joining the field — it is certainly one of the top reasons I’ve decided to explore other career options.

I don’t think I will ever fully leave journalism behind, though. I finished every training session I’ve done for the Martlet with this quote: it is a privilege to have a platform for your stories, a gift when people share their stories and perspectives with you, and a bonus to do it all alongside other amazing students. To this day, I believe it captures why I think the Martlet is such a great place to work. 

I always felt like the Martlet was a place I fit in. The Martlet has facilitated so much personal and career growth — I will always be indebted to this little bird. 

So lastly, thank you to the Martlet! Thank you for feeling like a home when I didn’t have one, thank you for introducing me to the coolest people ever, and thank you for giving me writing skills that will enable me to express myself for the rest of my life. I sincerely hope the relentless Martlet never stops flying.