Letter from the Editor

I tend to hold on to things too tightly and have trouble leaving space for others. I consistently find power in control, in relying on my own work. I thrive in it. The promise of messing up my own life always seemed better than someone else doing it for me. I have never liked asking for help and would do it begrudgingly when necessary.  

The first article I ever edited for the Tufts Observer as a freshman section editor contained problem after problem; it was a whole series of mistakes that started with my co-editor being sick, turned into the writer interviewing a different Observer staff member (a big no), and ended with the article never being published. I blamed myself—it felt like the easiest route, as the responsibilities I hadn’t met from that two-week cycle stuck out so clearly in my mind.

I can’t say the rest of my time on the Observer has gone perfectly. There have been many mistakes—other articles that ended up being pulled, misspelled words I didn’t notice, and texts I should’ve replied to earlier. Yet, here I am, in my seventh semester on this magazine, now Editor-in-Chief.

The Observer is too big and too heavy for one person to hold. As a magazine of record, the responsibility of representing this community and its members properly looms, and the amount of work it takes to create a magazine in two weeks is daunting. The past three and a half years on this magazine have been an exercise in letting go little by little, slowly putting trust in my writers, co-editors, designers, copy editors, and managing board. I couldn’t be more grateful.

This magazine has defined me for so long; it has challenged me, pushed me to my limits, and made me a better writer and a better person. It has helped me become someone who is confident in their ability to share stories. It has helped me loosen my grip and accept that my mistakes are not always solely my fault and worth trusting others for—even for that first article. But, most importantly, it has turned me into someone who can create this magazine with the people who surround me.

The Observer is, at its core, made of its people—over 120 years worth of them. That’s hard to imagine—it still shocks me just how much its staff has changed in the time I have been here. It astounds me that there are so many people at this school who are incredibly devoted to and passionate about this magazine. I can’t describe how much love I have for all of them, and how honored I am to get to make this magazine with them. There is power in this community—so much of it. To be able to build this publication and trust that their love for this magazine is strong is so wonderful, and it brings me so much joy each time I get to do it. 

I couldn’t have learned how to do this if Bota, Richie, and Brigid hadn’t shown me how, and I couldn’t be doing it now without Amanda, Sofia, Brenna, and every other member of this staff. I would like to think so much of what is in this magazine comes down to care—caring enough to use your words to fight for what is right or caring enough to share your creations with the world. It is the people here who make this magazine what it is and made me care about myself enough to let go a little more. Thank you for going on this journey with me; I can’t wait to see where it takes us.

All my love,

Josie Wagner