The Daily Northwestern

Reflections from the editor: Maria LaMagna

Maria LaMagna, Editor in chief, Winter Quarter 2012 and Spring Quarter 2012

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This is by far the hardest issue of The Daily Northwestern I’ve ever had to put together.

Other nights have been longer, more stressful and involved more yelling (Sorry, guys). But at least when I put together past issues, I had more days left at Northwestern  than I could count.

The fact that my time here is over has been a tough realization. This campus has felt more like home than anywhere else I’ve lived.

I don’t feel ready to reflect fully on what these happy years have meant yet. I think effects of formative life experiences become apparent slowly.

When I arrived four years ago, I had never traveled outside the United States or lived alone. My high school years had been positive, but not stellar. I was still searching for friends who truly understood me.

And when I got to campus, I was swept into its culture immediately. It became clear right away that to succeed here, I would have to become better. From classes to extracurricular activities, NU itself seemed to tell me, “It’s time to change.”

I’m so happy I listened. If I’m proud of one thing, it’s that I took risks — living in Buenos Aires, Atlanta and Miami, joining a sorority, working at The Daily, losing lots of sleep and allowing myself to become close to friends who soon would live far away once again.

I’m not the same woman who visited The Daily office during a campus visit in 2009. It’s impossible to travel, take risks, work hard, be happy, be angry, fall in love and not change. I look different. I feel different.

It’s empowering to know who I was doesn’t have to be who I am forever. I’ve truly come to believe that with perseverance and ambition we can make our options limitless.

Just as NU, its students and faculty have challenged and changed me,  I hope this school continues to evolve. The editor in chief of The Daily gets to write about and see everything that is wonderful about this university. But unfortunately, they see its ugliest side as well.

There is work to be done at NU, and I’m confident leaving it to the dedicated, passionate students who will be on campus going forward. Just as this school changes us, we are responsible for changing it. Please do that; the options are limitless. Just because something is traditional does not make it right. Real change requires thought, hard work and the courage to offer and implement solutions. But the result might be something more positive than you could have ever imagined. None of our individual accomplishments are as important as treating other people with respect. Thank you, NU, for inspiring me to change. It hurts my heart to leave the place that makes me happiest.

Best of luck and happy graduation to all of my fellow seniors. Thank you for reading The Daily Northwestern while I was the editor. Let’s keep the conversation going.