Northern Star




Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Lifestyle editor says goodbye

Jenny Javkhlantugs
The Northern Star lifestyle section hold up finger L’s for lifestyle. Lifestyle Editor Nick Glover is graduating and leaving the Star. (Jenny Javkhlantugs | Northern Star)

My time at the Northern Star is slowly coming to a close. 

I’ve been everything from a lowly staffer all the way up to editor-in-chief, and yet, I feel like my time has just begun. 

This piece was supposed to be a review of the new Adrianne Lenker album, but I got stuck on a loop listening to the song “Sadness As A Gift,” the second track on the album, constantly. 

The song is folky and weird and simple, things I love in my music, but it’s also endlessly complex.

I’ve found the Star to be a similar beast. 

Sometimes my job is as simple as writing a piece about a song. Sometimes, though, I see more than that in my work. I see all the people I work with – all the editors, photographers, copy editors, writers, videographers and advisers – and have to stop and admire the weird amalgam of people that we as a group have created. 

I’m one of the longest-tenured people on staff currently, and I’m starting to show my age. 

I reference moments in “Star lore,” moments that no one else in the Star remembers. I am the keeper of stories of an institution known most for telling stories.  

I’ve grown mature at the Star, and I’ve often found my places to be immature still. 

I’m starting to become the old man of the Star. Often crotchety, claiming of my good old days – though hopefully that remains in my head.

As Lenker puts it, “And that old man beats his crooked cane / It’s time to let go.”

As my final semester draws to a close, I’m constantly remembering all of those I’ve learned from. My first editor – shout out to Daija – and the editor-in-chief who inspired me to run and mentored me during my semester in charge – Maddie, if you’re still reading, we thank you and we miss you. To my assistant editor and the person tasked with making me look like I knew what I was doing this whole time, Sarah, I appreciate you more than you know. You’re going to do great things, kid. 

Much of the staff now might not remember the people who were pillars to my time at the Star, and I know in a couple years, heck maybe sooner, I will be forgotten too. 

And I’ve made my peace with that. 

Now, I’m stuck with one thing more than others.

As many long nights as I’ve struggled through and as many edits I’ve foughten to get through – many big apologies to my former written managing editor, Brett Fox – I have loved this place more than I’ve loved virtually anything in my 22 long years on this Earth. 

More than anything, I’m overcome with sadness that I have less than two months until I have to leave the place I love. 

This sadness, though, is good. As much as I may hate to admit it.

Just like a child losing their first pet, this pain in my heart that is sneakily growing and growing until May 11 when I graduate is something that I can use to become the most human person I can be. 

As Stephen Colbert summarized the great J.R.R. Tolkien “What punishments of God are not gifts.” 

I must return to Lenker’s sage words here, and repeatedly tell myself that “We could see the sadness as a gift.”

I will be forever grateful to my little college newspaper and the gifts it has given me, even if now I’m sad as I start to see it in the rearview mirror. 

Lenker ends the song the same way I’ll end this “review,” with the line “The seasons go so fast / Thinking that this one was gonna last / Maybe the question was too much to ask.”

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