New Beginnings


Hannah Davis

Editor-In-Chief for the Courier Student Newspaper

Carlos Peterson, Editor-In-Chief

For most of my life writing seemed like a burden placed on me by the educational establishment. It was the bane of my academic existence. Trying to articulate my thoughts on to paper was never an activity I found very enlightening or fulfilling. As a four-year football player in high school, being able to express your feelings wasn’t as high of a priority as looking to take the head off of the opponent.
The switch flipped in the summer before my senior year of high school. I heard the words that would make any sane humans being’s stomach drop. My mother had cancer.

In the months that followed, I found myself emotionally spiraling. I told everyone it was going to be OK. I could be a source of strength for my loved ones looking for comfort. But in moments of reflection, I wanted to scream. I was broken.
Every day I battled an existential crisis. The roots that had given me a sense of security were being torn from the soil. I had broken down to the point of not knowing whether life would ever have meaning again.
Then it happened. I put a pen to the paper of my Moleskine notebook. And my anguish and despair poured out. I didn’t realize it in the moment, but repelling down into the depths of myself quite possibly saved my life.
The morning of my mothers passing is a moment I’ve only come back to less than a handful of times. Overwhelming regret consumes me when thinking of that day. Such a big piece of my life was taken from me. And the only consolation was accepting it as the nature of life.
My emotional downturn continued into my first days at COD. I was aimless. My grades slipped. Depression consumed me to the point of alienating my friends and becoming someone who just accepted failure as the norm at that point in my life. I still had my writing. It gave me something to look forward to, but, on its own, it wasn’t enough of a life line.

Hope reared its head when a spot on the Courier staff opened up. I thought becoming the sports editor could give me a path I so desperately craved. And I was passed over. I was crushed. In a very lethargic fall semester, I gave my most miserable effort to date.
I hit a new low when a letter came that January. I was placed on academic suspension. I refused to tell my father. I tried to rationalize a different reality about the health of my withering academic career. But my dad found the letter. He pleaded with me to take time off to come to terms with the ghosts of my mom’s death. That’s exactly what I was avoiding. But I did it.
I found that, despite my failure, suffering and disappointment, I was still myself. And I was someone who could improve.
Last spring, I received the biggest break of my life. I was hired to be the sports editor at the Courier. After so much fighting to get back to being myself and building my academic career back up, I found solace in this publication. My one escape from the hell my life had become and what I was working to move past was finally a reality. I’m still finding my way in this ever-changing game we call life. I’ve found that knowing my humanity and imperfection are the most precious things I possess. They will help me in this important time in my life.
This past month I was named the Editor-In-Chief of the Courier and I was overwhelmed with emotion and memories of my struggle. It’s always important to remember from whence you came. However, I have a new hope for where I am headed. I’m nothing special, but I know this publication is in the right hands. I want all our readership to know not only that we’re putting out great work, but the story behind it all. This moment. This opportunity has been the culmination of my blood, sweat and tears. I hope you join me and the rest of the staff on this journey.