Week One-Winter Quarter

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Welcome back, Wildcats. Not only are we returning to a new quarter, but we are returning to a new year filled with new opportunities—and way too much snow.

As we leave 2016 in the dust, I can only hope that we can strive to also leave behind the hatred, pain and dramatic losses (mainly of childhood heroes) that so many of us have attributed to the last year.

2016 was somewhat of a roller coaster. There were incredible highs and terrifying lows that we have endured as both a local and national community. But hey, we made it.

The year was also the end of an era. As of Jan. 10, Obama gave his final farewell as the President of the United States, and soon we will watch as the Trump administration moves into the White House.

Whether you fall on the left, right, or stand stubbornly with one foot planted on each side of the aisle, this could be a year that defines us. This could be a turning point in American history.

Or it might not.

It could just be another year, with another round of political disputes and the usual playground name-calling that American politics has devolved into.

While the actions of the president are (for the most part) out of our control, we can still determine how to react to what will come our way.

We can choose to stand together, united as a nation that refuses to allow intolerance and hatred of any kind to infiltrate our lives, or we can sit back and watch our republic crumble. That’s up to you.

Politics aside, as I reflect on this past year I’d have to say some pretty great moments came from it.

The majority of my time last year revolved around the Observer (and continues to this day), and I think just about anyone in student media would say the same for their work.

Simply being able to work on this newspaper for as long as I have and watching this editorial staff grow leaps and bounds over a single quarter has made me incredibly proud to be called the editor of this paper.

We’ve traveled together, spent too many hours in the newsroom together and we achieved things I never believed possible all as a team.

I’ve even (somewhat) enjoyed the failures that I have managed to stumble my way through while figuring out how to “lead” this staff.

I firmly believe that difficult moments tend to reveal our true self and show our character. And even through life’s challenges we can learn how to react to situations in the future and learn more about ourselves and those around us in the process.

You can choose to look at this year as a new beginning, a major overhaul in all of our systems and a way to start over with a clean slate. But I also believe that you can choose to look at each day as a new beginning.

There are opportunities everywhere. You’re on a campus where your fellow classmates may not only be the best networking connections you can have, but will likely become some of your closest friends.

So while a new year may signify a new beginning, it doesn’t mean you have to wait another 300+ days in order to set goals for yourself.

Branch out, talk to someone new, take a course outside of your major and dive into other areas of knowledge. Immerse yourself in the opportunities and experiences available to you.

I know that this quarter may not seem like it will end soon, but trust me, graduation and/or summer break will be knocking before you know it.

But most importantly, remember that you get to choose how you impact this campus and the lives around you. Your choices will affect your future, so make them count.

Happy New Year and good luck Wildcats!

-McKenzie Lakey, EIC

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Week One-Winter Quarter