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That’s all, folks

| Friday, March 5, 2021

About a year ago, I said hello. Now it’s time for me to say goodbye.

Whenever anyone asks me about the past year at The Observer, I can’t make it more than two sentences without commending the hard work of my peers at the paper. I frequently follow up with “God, I feel like such a mom,” and a laugh, but it’s true.

When the Editorial Board and I officially began leading the paper, our little family was established. I adopted the Marmee March persona, partially because we ran out of March sisters. On a more subconscious level, I hoped to exude Marmee’s energy throughout my time as Editor-in-Chief.

She is patient and kind and always willing to help others. She lives without compromising her principles but never fails to listen to others. Sometimes she is angry, but she never lets those feelings compromise her actions. Above all, Marmee is always proud of the work her children accomplish.

The tri-campus was making headlines left and right, and sometimes I worried we weren’t doing enough. I feared I wasn’t doing enough as a leader, whether it was to inspire people to pursue their passions or discourage burnout during a difficult time. My imposter syndrome was always near, making sure I doubted myself during the beginning of my tenure.

Recently, someone asked me if I think I did a good job as Editor-in-Chief. I paused, searched for any feeling of inadequacy and was surprised to find almost none. The Observer is an under-funded, independent newspaper that is staffed and led by full-time college students. We worked through the uncertainty of last spring, we survived the rollercoaster that was the fall semester and we published when we couldn’t meet in our South Dining Hall office.

Too often, it is so easy for me to fall into the idea that I failed as a leader of this paper. I didn’t even think I had a chance at becoming Editor-in-Chief until one of my advisors asked about it. How could a little News Writer from Saint Mary’s do that? But then I remember the people who came before me and believed in a future for the paper I couldn’t even picture. I look back on all the late nights in the office and forcing coworkers to become my friends. I see that the paper is still alive and thriving in new ways (find us on Apple News!). And now, I will always carry the memories — along with some new forehead wrinkles and under-eye bags — of the past year well spent.

To my Little Women and all the other children, thanks for making this past year one I can proudly look back on. I can’t wait to proudly look at what you do soon.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Maria Leontaras

Maria Leontaras is a senior at Saint Mary's pursuing a student-designed major in Interactive Journalism with minors in mathematics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Maria used to serve as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer when she wasn't busy tweeting about movies and One Direction.

Contact Maria