Letter from the Editor

Unprecedented times have become a depressing new sense of normal, but one of the few acts of normalcy I committed to this semester was the Observer. Yes, it was hunched over my laptop with flaring tendinitis in my bedroom. And yes, two out of the four issues were spent in quarantine to be with my family. But to a degree, it was normal. I’ve written a lot for this magazine—at least one or two pieces every semester—and I expected that going into my first year here at Tufts. But I didn’t expect the hours laboring over sentence structure, identifying cohesive narratives, and finding my new favorite words in “lede.” “em dash.” and “graf.” 

As a writer, you can find your own voice—but as an editor, you’re helping others find their voices, an act so distinctly gratifying that it can fill your heart with fuel for weeks at a time. Now, I didn’t expect for that sensation to be amplified tenfold as Editor-in-Chief. Feelings of joy in the past seemed fleeting, but during this semester, I clung onto them as much as I could and buried them into my skin. And to be candid, I suffered more than I could imagine this semester: I went through cycles of post-grad life crises, I watched my relatives suffer from COVID-19 while oceans away, I switched my gaze from laptop screen to a muted TV with CNN live election updates, and I clicked on my family chat every two minutes to see if there was an update about my hospitalized grandmother. 

But through these moments, I also refreshed Slack routinely and tried to check in with all 60+ of you whenever I could. The Observer truly became a virtual home, somewhere to create content for our campus and give voices to those cast aside. 

Bota became a trusted confidante, as she replaced Owen on Siri’s suggestions for who I should text at various hours of the day. We deliberated not only over the pronunciation of the word “libel,” but also over balancing our hectic lives with the very pulse and heart of the Observer: our lovely staff. Trying to form one-on-one relationships, oftentimes with people I had only really seen over the computer screen or in passing in person, proved to be difficult, but for all of you, I hope you know that I love you and I’m proud of you. 

I take pride in the content produced by the Observer this semester and in our ability to surpass the virtual boundaries and limitations put on us to continue to uplift others, and my heart is heavy as I sign off my final issue. To my managing board, Bota, Richie, and Brigid, I long for a time where the four of us can be in the same room together, unmasked, and hugging, because we did it. To my staff, thank you for hanging in there with me through this journey. And to the Tufts community, I hope you were able to take a chance on yourself because of a piece in this magazine, or learn something new about the world around you. The Observer is a magazine of record, and this semester’s issues will be a home for our future generations to return to when they wonder: what were they thinking about in 2020, and what were they doing about it?