From the Editor: Savannah Nelson
It’s the best time of the year: I live for Christmas.
Not only does CU Denver have an outrageously long (and appreciated) winter break, the holiday is filled with extensive cheer: there are simple traditions and family time and a quiet return to my hometown. Amid freshly baked sugar cookies, gift giving, and the Nutcracker soundtrack on repeat, however, there’s one vacation tradition I’d rather avoid: talking about my job.
I’ve worked at our student newspaper for years, and I’ve always—weirdly—had to defend it. Not with the people who know me best, who have picked up stray copies on campus or who have requested my articles each week. Instead, it’s been the long-lost friends or connections that want to catch up, but can’t quite catch on to what it means to me to work at the Sentry.
Most times, a brief five-minute conversation ends with a reassuring, “At least it’ll probably look good on a resume,” and a condescending pat on the shoulder as though my dreams, efforts, and experiences are dying at the rate of print journalism in an online world. I’m not looking forward to my fake smile hiding the truth: that being a part of this newspaper has been one of the most rewarding opportunities of my life, extending far beyond workplace skills.
Over the weekend, my fiancé and I put on our best faces and posed in front of a camera for our engagement pictures. We chose the most talented photographer I know, the Sentry’s own Bobby Jones. We traipsed all over a park, freezing and laughing the entire time, as one of our best friends made the experience unforgettable.
I remember Bobby’s initial Sentry interview, as former Editor In Chief Madi Bates and I were desperately hoping to find our next photography editor. Bobby came in and he was a shining light: his work was beautiful, his energy was unmatched, and his interest in telling a story made him stand out completely.
Then Bobby was calling my fiancé out for not smiling with his teeth, I realized something. Sure, there are professional perks to being the EIC of a newspaper, but that’s not why I’ve stayed. I love this job because of the connections I make.
Whether it’s a former boss who meets me for coffee, a current noise editor who texts me when he’s listening to the Nutcracker, a group of editors who celebrate birthdays together, a copy editor whose early graduation is cause for both celebration and mourning (go Elsa!), or a photo editor who’s willing to give up a Friday afternoon to take cheesy pictures, I’m surrounded by real-life gifts all-year round. There’s no defending this; I don’t need to. I love the people who walk in the door as potential coworkers and emerge as some of my very best friends.