The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

PARTING SHOT: Girl, what did you expect?

<p>Cecy Juárez was a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily.</p>

Cecy Juárez was a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily.

I’ve been a part of The Cavalier Daily for as long as someone could be — eight semesters strong. I never expected to stay this long. Starting out, I was just grateful to find somewhere to work out my atrophying writing muscles and feel like a part of the University community from the confines of my dorm. I’ve always liked writing creatively, and Life Columnist seemed like a safe place to try that out without much pressure. My understanding was that I would only share my perspectives on life in a very wholesome way. After all, the Life desk is all about everyday life on Grounds. I thought I would be like some kind of Gossip Girl — writing silly, personal columns every two weeks and never leaving my bed. 

Girl, what did you expect? Did you really think you could get away with only writing cutesy Life columns this whole time? You think you could just sneak in a link to your apple pie recipe every time you wrote an article without someone catching on? Did you think you could join a section whose whole intent is to highlight student life, achievements and diversity without also becoming passionate about upholding these values? 

I didn’t expect some of my very first articles would become the most controversial and popular — as a simple Life columnist! I had no idea that asking people to stop making a caricature of Mexican culture on Cinco de Mayo would instigate such anger in the comment section. Even simply talking about what it feels like to have to combat stereotypes and prejudices in my life earned me my first hate comment underneath the column.

I didn’t expect to be asked to step in as one of the Life editors — just one year after joining, I became an editor in the middle of the term. Suddenly swept into a tidal wave of editor responsibilities, I was terrified to mess up and look stupid around all these older, smarter editors. I didn’t expect how much the incredible editors around me would help me integrate.

I didn’t expect to spend time on the phone doing an interview with TV actor and hilarious comedian Danish Maqbool before he performed stand-up for students. I didn’t expect to find myself texting my co-editor that we had less than three days to write the cover story for the next print issue about Days on the Lawn being reborn. I didn’t expect that I would do something that many student journalists have never done — conduct interviews in Spanish at Cville Sabroso and write the event coverage in both English and Spanish the same night.

Sometimes I’m taken aback by how far I’ve come. I’ll adjust the proverbial rearview mirror of my bike and feel surprised at how much I’ve ended up doing with The Cavalier Daily. 

It’s funny, as I write this parting shot, I find myself falling into my old habits of structuring how I would write my columns — narrative, reflection and takeaway. So what’s my takeaway now? What wisdom will I impart in possibly my last installment at The Cavalier Daily?

Here’s what I have to say — be open to it. Move along with the push and pull of life’s tides instead of fighting against the current. Be passionate about what you love, while fighting for what you believe in. Advocate for yourself unabashedly, even and especially when you feel like you don’t belong. You can’t predict what’ll happen, but take those opportunities anyway. You’ll probably be grateful for what happened — especially the things you didn’t expect.

I hope I’ve left a positive impact on the Life desk. Coming in, my mission was for our content to emulate the University’s vast diversity and spirit. During my time as an editor, I made every single effort to assign stories about historically marginalized groups that haven’t previously been recognized. I’d like to think I’ve made a difference in uplifting and highlighting people who have always deserved this spotlight. Moreover, I always encouraged my writers to think critically and explore new avenues — whether it be a funny top 10 list, a poignant column about identity or a family recipe that they’ve always wanted to share. I’m excited to see how the Life desk continues in supporting and expanding upon this mission.  

My parting shot would not be complete without thanking some essential people. First, I’d like to thank my very first co-editor, Elise Kim. Elise, you have one of the brightest souls I’ve ever been blessed to encounter, and I am eternally grateful to have had your mentorship. To my former co-editor, Mario Rosales — I will never forget our time working together. Your wisdom and positivity made any difficult time so much easier, and I couldn’t have done it without you. To my most recent co-editor, Miriella Jiffar, you are the sun and all of her stars. Your creativity and passion lit up even the darkest nights in the office. Thank you for being such an inspiration for me and our desk. 

Finally, to all of the writers who have ever worked with me on the Life desk, thank you for an unforgettable and amazing experience. It was my honor to have read and edited all of your incredible stories. You all have a special place in my heart. I didn’t expect for a lot of things to happen, but I expect to always remember and appreciate my time at The Cavalier Daily. 

Cecy Juárez was Life Editor for 132nd, 133rd and 134th terms of The Cavalier Daily and a life columnist during the 131st and 135th terms.


Latest Podcast

Today, we sit down with both the president and treasurer of the Virginia women's club basketball team to discuss everything from making free throws to recent increased viewership in women's basketball.