Everyone Starts Somewhere

This editorial is dedicated to all the new students who are still getting used to Hotchkiss. Many of you have earned the privilege coming here because of your commitment to academic excellence and record of scholastic achievement. With luck, and a little elbow grease, you might be expecting to continue your level of success here at Hotchkiss.
This will not happen at The Record. Your first article will be excoriated, revised, edited, and revised again. You may feel like the finished product is a far cry from what you first submitted. To those who have rarely experienced criticism of their writing, this may come as a bit of a shock.
However, this is okay! One of the most dangerous misconceptions that new students hold is the belief that if they don’t succeed at something right away, it’s not for them. This belief stems from the tradition of success that is integral to the students that Hotchkiss attracts. Kids here aren’t used to failure.
Nevertheless, failure is a necessary part of any process and a vital precursor to improvement. Ask any Record writer what happened to their first article, and you’ll get the same response: it was unrecognizable in print. Some of those writers, instead of getting discouraged, continued to hone their craft, slowly but surely perfecting their writing until they become not just better writers for The Record, but also better writers in the classroom. Some of them became the very editors that might revise your work. A couple of them even became Editors in Chief.
The Record is a process. It’s hard work, but there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your name in the paper on Thursday morning. You can stamp your name into a piece of history by contributing to a club that has existed since the school’s founding. After a few issues, you might even get into a rhythm and become a staff writer, making your way onto the masthead.
More important than status, though, are the values you can take from your experience. Disappointment is not the end of the story. Becoming a writer for The Record will teach you the transformative power of persistence and the interconnected nature of failure and success.
Regardless of what you choose to do, the odds are that you will face a road bump at some point in your Hotchkiss career, whether that’s with The Record or not. And, when it happens, it pays to have the mental toughness not to cut and run.