Dear TPT underclassmen,
Obviously, the current situation is nothing like what any of us imagined the rest of our year would be like. Instead of wrapping up our year with late nights and laughs, we had to settle for lockdowns and masks. However, this is not the first time, and it definitely won’t be the last time life will throw you guys a curveball. Thankfully, we seniors know that our publication will stand strong and be ready to report on all of it, because it’s run by the most talented group of journalists we know. The future of The Purple Tide is in your hands, and as far as we’re concerned, it’s in the right hands.
Whether you joined staff last year or this year, just know that we have been watching you grow, aware of how every one of you contributes to the publishing of our paper each month. From the outside eye, it can seem that the seniors run the show and always know what they’re doing. But we know the truth: the endless advice and opinions you contribute, the meeting deadlines and editing articles on time and the creative page designs from those of you who are section editors is what keeps the publication running smoothly.
We will miss your enthusiasm and drive for going above and beyond in all that you do. Before our time together was cut short, our days together were always filled with creating powerful plans to improve The Purple Tide, brainstorming story ideas only to end up sharing thought-provoking, philosophical thoughts and devising new locations where we could all meet up and bond as a staff.
It saddens us that we won’t be able to make more high school memories together, but rest assured that we won’t forget you and all of the wonderful moments we spent together, and we hope you won’t forget us. Before we go, we want to pass on some advice we have learned over the years on staff.
First, never limit yourself. Our publication proudly represents our first amendment rights, and we have learned that it is alright to write articles that spark controversial conversations and challenge our beliefs and values. The opportunity to express ideas for others to read comes with great responsibility, and we hope you use your voice for good and persistently confront social norms.
Second, don’t let anyone take away your spark. Sometimes, you will receive criticism, but don’t take it personally. Place yourself in another person’s shoes and ask yourself where their assessment comes from. It’s important for us to have empathy to create a quality publication that represents people of differing beliefs. If you can see some truth to their statement, great. Now there’s more room for growth. If it’s a baseless critique that can come across as unfair, ignore it. Remember that it indicates shortcomings in your critic rather than you.
Finally, recognize what your sole purpose as journalism students is: to deliver news and the personal stories and opinions of students and staff around the community. Go out of your way to interview students you wouldn’t normally talk to and faculty members you aren’t familiar with. Continue collecting stories for Humans of Chantilly, and we hope you expand to create more side projects in the future. Every story is an important story, and our job as writers for The Purple Tide is to help students and staff get their story out there and to make our community more tight-knit and well-informed.
Well, that’s about it. We could spend all day offering more advice, but honestly, you are all more than prepared to carry this publication, so I guess it’s time to spread your wings and fly. We couldn’t be more proud of the people you have become, both in and outside of the classroom. Through all the deadlines and editing, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy each other’s company. Go ahead and aggressively dance and sing on print nights, cram more iconic lines onto the quote wall and fill the room with your cheerful laughs and hilarious jokes. Live in the moment, because one day you’ll be like us, reluctantly having to say goodbye to it all. Thank you for sticking with us until the end, and just know that wherever we may be, we are only one call away. We cannot wait to see what you will achieve in the coming years, and no matter what, we will be there for you, cheering you on.