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Letter From The Editor in Chief: Anjoleigh Schindler

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Dear AmFam,


The space that AmLit has taken up in my life is greater than I ever thought it would be.


I entered AU in 2020 as an International Relations major. Despite my extensive background in media in high school, I thought IR would be where I fit into the world practically. I fumbled my way through my freshman year; pretending, masking, and scraping by. I'm more creatively inclined, and found the lack of it in IR suffocating.


So, when I entered my sophomore year, I knew I had to find an outlet. I was scouring Engage looking for a club to join, when AmLit came across my path–a place for all people who share a love for the arts. I felt a bit out of my element at first. I don’t feel qualified to critique anyone’s art. I don't have a single ounce of formal training. Who am I to decide what should make it into a magazine and what shouldn't? But I learned that nobody else did either, and so AmLit felt like a safe place to rest.


I went from art assistant to photo editor in my second year, all the while wanting to burn my International Relations career to the ground. I wanted change; I wanted passion, and I wanted to feel it in my hands immediately or I was going to explode. I wasn't doing what fulfilled me.


So that summer I switched my major to Journalism. It was necessary.

Finally, people could see the inside of my brain.


Changing my major meant that other things had to change––my participation in AmLit.


I had entered the club while it was gasping for air, and it just couldn’t catch its breath that whole year. Additionally, I had been struggling to make friends or any kind of connections within the AmLit community. This was nobody’s fault: the pandemic had essentially stepped on in-person interactions, and the community naturally migrated online. Engagement was never the same, even after we all returned to campus.


But I couldn't participate with it in that state. I loved this magazine, and I was watching it shrivel up right before my eyes.


So, I walked away.


I spent the fall semester of my junior year focusing on my new major. I was behind the other kids, and there was a big question mark around my anticipated graduation date. I had no intention of returning to AmLit, not with the trajectory the club and my life were taking. I just wanted to graduate and get out.


But as you know, here I am.


In December, I shockingly received a text from our former EIC, asking me to apply for her position. I had to think about it. To be honest, my first inclination was to say no. I was extremely busy managing my academic, social, and work life, and I did not have enough faith in the organization (I know, boooooo. You can throw tomatoes at me.) But it kept eating away at me.


Here was that change I so deeply craved, right in my lap, staring me in the face. This was a real, tangible opportunity to make a difference at this school, and future Anjoleigh would beat me the hell up for not taking it.


So I jumped in and tried not to think too hard about it. I couldn't help but wonder if I was biting off more than I could chew. This was a magazine that had been running as long as my parents have been alive, and I was now in charge of it?


But I wasn’t alone! I have Charlotte, my co-editor!


Charlotte is the organization I need in my life. I have big dreams, and Charlotte molds them so that they’re not just reaches, but actual things we can accomplish. She is the right side of my brain, that sometimes I think I'm missing. We are complete opposites, not only in how we approach work, but in how we navigate life. And for some insane reason, it works perfectly. She is my rock. Which is crazy to think about, because we only met four months ago.


Charlotte and I both had the same larger goal for AmLit: rebirth. Which if you couldn’t tell, has been the common theme throughout my time here at AU.


Change is scary. How do we know the grass will be greener on the other side? What if we’re trying to salvage the unsalvageable? What if the changes aren’t embraced?


I think I've spent more time this semester doing things for AmLit than my actual school work.

So many late nights where I wanted to scream into a pillow. I want to emphasize for all of you, that at no point was this smooth sailing.


A lot of how Charlotte and I navigated our new roles was not some master strategy.

We guessed. A lot.


Nobody showed us the ropes. We truly were thrown in blind. So the only thing we could do was put some feelers out and see how it went. Miraculously, it went.


Some of my favorite things this semester were the fancy new website that you’re reading this on, a revamping of the Instagram, and hosting a super successful flea market!


All of this could not have been done without our brilliant staff. I am in love with every single one of you. Thank you for breaking your backs for us. I made so many beautiful friendships this semester on our team, and I'm hoping that there will be more in my final year at AU.


To our contributors––you lovely people. There would be no magazine without you. Please keep submitting. Your works bring us joy, and they should be on display for everyone to see.


The last thing I'll say is that when Charlotte and I took on our roles the fall magazine was missing and incomplete, and that felt like a cloud that loomed over us the entire semester. I understand how this was disappointing for many of you. It was disappointing for me too. But I want to assure you, we have not quit on that mag, nor do we have plans to. It will be here. Thank you for your love, trust, and patience.


Okay, AmFam, I've stood on my soapbox for long enough. You've made my spring semester glorious, and lit up my life in ways I thought impossible. This was the change I needed. I can say with all my heart that I'm proud to be your co-editor-in-chief.


Yours,

Anjoleigh







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