When I was a silly sophomore who was just starting to use Instagram for the first time, I discovered the joy of social media stories. I used the Instagram Story feature liberally, mostly on my more personal Instagram page (not my main, which is strictly used for showing my associates and distant classmates how insanely, enviably cool I am). No, my personal Instagram account was (is) used purely for my own cringey purposes, which is to spam people with the latest reactions on whatever the hell I was watching.
Was I annoying the hell out of my friends? Probably, which might have been the reason why one of our old Editors-in-Chief, Candace Ng ’20 (if she’s reading this by the way, lol love u candace) slid into my DMs and asked why I didn’t just write for The Hoot, where I could actually air out my opinions productively.
It’s worth noting now that I’ve never actually written in a school newspaper before. When I thought of school newspapers, I mostly thought of uppity teenagers who were interested in nothing but politics and Pulitzers. Of course, these kinds of interests are admirable in their own right—but that wasn’t really my scene.
But because I was a curious sophomore, I wound up writing an article. My first one was about diet culture (lots of opinions on that), but the section that I stuck with was ultimately Arts—my first article ever being about “Star Wars: the Clone Wars.” But what meant even more to me was the fact that—get this!—the Art Section editors at the time (Jonah Koslofsky ’20, Emma Lichtenstein ’22 and Aaron LaFauci ’21) were actually weirdly supportive. Maybe this is part of the scheme to amp up the page count for the section (Arts Section is the best section, duh), but sophomore Caroline appreciated the genuine interest. Now as a senior, I still get so much joy out of finding this little community where I can write about my latest favorite watches and feel mostly not judged for it—which, not to get all sappy and shit, but I think it helped me appreciate myself a little more too. Because as I grew into my own editor role (because what the hell, I somehow became the Arts Editor), I learned that I love seeing the writers’ enthusiasm come to life in print. Whether the latest article is about the greatest or worst movie/show/book (and okay, fine, games too I guess) of all time, I love the energy that the Arts writers specifically bring to the table—and as I bid my adieus to Brandeis, I feel sad thinking it might be a bit harder to find that same unpretentious joy that I get the pleasure of reading and editing on a weekly basis.
But that’s only one part of my reflection as a senior in The Hoot. I can’t quite finish this piece without expressing gratitude and love for the whole Editorial Board. Whether I’d known them since my sophomore year when I first started writing, or only in my senior year as an Arts Editor, they’ve each been nothing short of fantastic. Thank you guys for making my senior year feel a little brighter. Special thanks to Stewart Huang ’22, my co-Arts Editor for being an awesome partner in both editing and the occasional weirdly philosophical discussion about death that one time in Prod Night. And thank you to our awesome deps—Lucy Fay ’24, Rachel Rosenfield ’25 and Cyrenity Augustin ’24: I personally feel fine knowing you guys are taking up the Arts section. Y’all are gonna rock it. Oh, and I guess—not to play favorites with the 3ICs or whatever—thanks Emma, for sending me a stream of “love and light” text messages whenever I was about to go into Full On Insane mode over whatever I was (re)watching. And also nudging me into the Editorial Board in the first place. I literally had no idea the girl I met in freshman year with the Taylor Swift bedspread would turn into both my Editor-in-Chief as well as friend, and honestly, I’m really happy it happened.
That leaves us with the ending of this op, which is really quite a shame, because I suck at endings. So instead, I’ll say see y’all on some Thursday night. Maybe not next week but—on some eventual Thursday night, sure. I’ll meet you then!