Editor’s Letter: To the ghosts of Monthlies future

Charlotte Walsh, Social Media Editor & The Monthly Editor

I started off this quarter thinking about the lives of Monthlies past — from our very first issue over two years ago, which featured a photo of Bienen on the cover (the design… their minds!), to some of our most recent, which featured sports stories, something I never thought was possible. But now, as I’m preparing to study abroad in the fall, I’m thinking about the stories of Monthlies future.

When I took over the magazine in April, I was a little overwhelmed. I had no idea how to compile interesting, longform stories; I have a vivid memory of FaceTiming former editor Madeleine in a mild panic. And when I finally threw together an issue in April, I was worried people would see right through me — that they would realize I had no idea what I was doing.

But none of us really have an idea what we’re doing here. We’re here, on the third floor of Norris until the wee hours of the night, joking about Dennis Quaid, shark attacks, “Survivor” and the identity of Peter’s true father, and that all ends up somewhere in the eight pages of the paper we put out everyday. So when we get the chance to look back, to reflect on our successes, like in The Monthly — it shouldn’t be seen as something stressful, it should be celebrated.

During this quarter, I think I’ve learned how to celebrate our victories. Some of our hits have included talking about sex dungeons in The Daily, learning about a rock band made of football players and columns about diversity in some of our staffers’ favorite television shows. We’ve reviewed bars, cafes, documentaries and feature films. Our covers have featured theater stars, writers and comedians — all examples of what we as Northwestern students can do when we have ideas we believe in.

So I’m hoping to start seeing The Monthly as a celebration, even though it’s difficult sometimes, like when a source falls through or a photo doesn’t come in. Because when I look through the final PDFs of our beautiful designs around 3 a.m. early Wednesday morning, that’s what it feels like, and that’s what most of our work should feel like.

So thank you, Daily, for another quarter of laughs, friendships and mags. Even though I joke too often that I will quit this publication in protest, I probably never will (or at least not for a bit). It’s just too much fun.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @charwalsh_