By: Katie Quigley
I have always been amazed at the work that goes into the creation of a book. When I was younger, I thought that someone would just type up their ideas, send them to Barnes and Noble, and suddenly rise to fame as a New York Times Best-Selling Author. I was unaware of the countless edits, editors, and hours that actually went into the creation of a book- or, in my case, the creation of a newspaper. Looking back on these seventeen years, and more specifically, my three years in high school, editing the opinions section of The Caldron is easily my most cherished and memorable experience.
It was this time last year that I walked into my homeroom to find a slip of paper with my name on it, congratulating me on earning a spot on the board of editors for The Caldron. I could picture myself, sipping iced coffee with ten-too-many tabs open on my laptop, aggressively writing my own article in one moment, editing the other articles I would soon receive in another. Though my new responsibility wasn’t set to begin until September, I had a mapped-out plan of how I was going to manage my section by the beginning of June, along with an empty group chat that (I hate to admit) sat in my GroupMe app uninhabited yet anxiously awaiting writers to join it for an entire summer.
I generated this image before I got a touch of what junior year would be like, so you can understand why my expectations were a little far-fetched.
Junior year, though I’ve never learned so much in one year of education before, is a lot to handle. Seventeen is just, unfortunately, the age that a lot of large-scale and intimidating tasks need to get done. In the course of nine months, most of us took the SAT, narrowed down colleges to look into, wrote a huge research paper, added a couple of AP classes to our schedules, got deeply involved in our extracurriculars, and learned how to drive a car, all while keeping our grades as high as they could possibly be. Because of all of these responsibilities that I was obliged to take on, I had to find a more efficient way to manage my time. Ideally, I like to submit two articles per edition, and on average, I receive about four articles to revise and edit. I started dedicating whatever spare second I had to The Caldron– I made edits over breakfast, wrote during my free period, and would force myself to revise simple errors for twenty minutes before I crashed at the end of my day. Being an editor taught me the importance of every minute, and how humans often doubt how much they can accomplish in one day; striving to be efficient and on-task everyday is often very tiring and sometimes frustrating, but doing it to further your passion is always worth it.
Previously stated, my ideal situation for myself, personally, would be to submit two articles each month. But, as you can imagine, that’s not always possible with the schedule of a junior in high school. In addition to learning about the importance of every moment of everyday, writing for The Caldron proved to me that, although striving for perfection is nice, it’s not always in-reach. Halfway through the year, I realized I had to stop beating myself up over not reaching my goal. Though it’s a great idea in theory, twenty-four hours is not enough time to go to school, participate in after school activities, do homework, go to work,and study for tests like the SAT- and be healthy, happy, social, and a full-time editor of the newspaper. Though getting everything completely checked off of your to-do list is not always humanly possible, it’s important to be proud of what you were able to accomplish.
Before this year, I was in love with the idea of being an editor, and now, I am in love with the job itself. I can’t say I haven’t been busy at this school for the past three years- I’ve spent some unimaginable hours at JCHS- but I can easily say my time spent editing is my favorite.