Saturday, December 31, 2011

The MB effect

Everyone who’s ever been on The Cavalier Daily managing board (lowercase) knows what I’m talking about. When you spend 40+ hours a week within the confines of the cavernous offices in the Newcomb Hall basement, it’s easy to forget and to neglect your world beyond the newspaper. The majority of the people you see and speak to daily are on the CavDaily staff. Nearly all your daily thoughts somehow involve the newspaper. And your weekend plans? They mostly involve sleep.
But one day, that all ends. Once sweet retirement begins, you are thrust into a life that has little to do with production deadlines. The gems of normal daily life that the managing board had taken for granted — free time, a reasonable amount of sleep of night, being able to pay attention in class without feeling fatigued on a regular basis — are possible once again. And yet to be suddenly thrust into normalcy of college life feels uncomfortably unfamiliar. Time that had always been so structured on staff — the supposed 5 p.m. News article headline, the 1:15 a.m. roll deadline, etc. — is now more nebulous.
At some point, we all wonder what it is that we have to return to once CavDaily is over. Suddenly, you have to find more structure in your social life that had hung in limbo while you spent an egregious amount of time editing or working on lead editorials. You have to remember who your non-CavDaily friends are — if those relationships hadn’t already waned while you juggled your MB obligations and academics. Life on staff is stressful at times, but comfortable. You know who’s competent, who’s not. You know who you trust to submit a top-notch story, and you know who you can keep your eye on. But such lines are no so clear-cut in the real world. Relationships — both friendly and romantic — are considerably less structured and are unlikely to follow a comparably rigid timeline.
Gone are the days in which you sit in your office chair to find 40 unread emails from staff that need to be sorted, answered and read before you even begin to start on your daily work. Now student life seems to have considerably less purpose. But life goes on.
Would I trade shoes with the current managing board? Absolutely not. But if I could, would I pass up the opportunity to be on The Cavalier Daily managing board? Absolutely not.
This post was inspired by a recent Tumblr post by littlejuansays, also known as the 122nd Cavalier Daily operations manager.
(Originally posted Sept. 11, 2011)

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