Out of my comfort zone and into the hot seat

Mark Linville

In my year as Editor-in-Chief for The University News, I learned a lot about myself. Other than having the ability to endure constant challenges, the job taught me I actually can be a leader in life. I shocked myself when I applied for the job, just as I did when I applied to write for U-News in 2009.

I never saw myself pursuing a managerial job, nor practicing journalism. It was completely out of my comfort zone.. I never thought I would have the depth to be in charge of another free-thinking individual. Being the immediate supervisor of every aspect of a weekly collegiate/community publication allowed me to gain skills I never knew I needed. I am not referring to processing paperwork or supervising employees, but skills that build character.

Prior to taking the job, I was a bit unprofessional when it came to meeting deadlines and handling the independent variables of life. I avoided scenarios that involved relying on others to accomplish a goal. I lacked the capacity to allow others’ input or a helping hand.

After working with a team of skillful people with a mutual end goal, my preference of working alone was shaken. Working with others helps finish tasks in a fluid manner and everyone gets knowledge and experience from it all.

My rationale has also changed with the job. Working with budgets and deadlines requires careful thinking and strategizing to keep the boat afloat.

Another attribute I gained was keeping a level head. As editor, I would receive dozens of emails daily, some of them junk and others very important. Occasionally I would receive emails from readers who were upset over printed content. Regardless of the complaint, it was imperative that I approach the reader in a calm and logical manner. Previously, I would have responded immaturely or unprofessionally.

Keeping a level head in any situation gets you far in life. I can admit that a few of the printed errors of the past year were my own mistakes. I simply rolled with the punches and took the adversity as means for improvement. All I can do is grit my teeth and transform all criticism into constructive advice.

But all in all I learned that stress is an ever-present fact of life that everyone faces, and the only way to deal with it is by practicing patience.

As this issue prints, it marks the end of my tenure at U-News. As this chapter of my life ends, I take away many experiences applicable to the even more professional life ahead of me.

Through being Editor-in-Chief, I have confidence when I say you should never be scared to do something out of your comfort zone. Take risks in life, but don’t be too impulsive.

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