It’s hard to write an editorial for a features section; the whole thing is basically an editorial anyway. Consequently, this will be as much a love letter as an editorial, enjoy.
Writing this feels as close as I will ever become to being one of the string quartet who played on the deck of James Cameron’s Titanic. Knowing the end is nigh and playing on anyway until the very end. I have a billion and one things to do (number 1; lay off the hyperbole and exclamation marks!!) but as I sit here on my bed, looking out at the snow (snowing in March? Only in Ireland) I feel like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
I’ve always enjoyed writing. In leaving cert, tearing the appalling poetry to shreds was one of my favourite things to do. But I was too stubborn and wanted to be a doctor or a scientist. When I wound up in college, I did science. And I hated it, almost from the beginning. I swapped around trying to find where I fit in, until I finally realised that I was never going to fit in; it just wasn’t for me.
But people always fascinated me, so I went into psychology. The freedom to write essays with an actual viewpoint, not regurgitating some bullshit about retinoic acid and stem cells, my god, it was like the beacons of Gondor were lit and for the first time in almost a decade I felt alive.
But I needed more. I needed something else. And that, dear reader, is why I’m sitting here, frantically writing an editorial that will hopefully convey my feelings in a relatable way whilst also being a tad amusing and making you think “huh!”.
Being able to write for the Express this last year has been an emotional rollercoaster. There has been crying, yelling, laughing, screaming and lots of not-sleeping. There have been missed deadlines, early submissions, awards to apply for. Reading other people’s work and being able to reflect on my own style and pieces has been more educational than any creative writing course.
It’s like watching the last episode of your favourite show. You were told there would only be five seasons, but somehow when the last episode of season five comes to pass it feels like it came all too soon. Time really does fly when you’re having fun I guess.
This is my last hurrah, my Oscar acceptance speech à la Sally field circa 1985, and I have so many people I’d like to thank (so sit back and enjoy the cringe). My friends, for providing me with hours of inspiration and support and proof reading and everything else a girl could want (especially L, D and A-M, thanks for putting up with me!). To my parents, for continuing to support my pipe dreams of finding a career. To every single one of my contributors, you are amazing. To my deputy editor, you have made a good year great. I can’t imagine a better person to have on the Features team. To my editor and everyone else on the team, thank you for everything.
Originally from a rural area in North Cork, Mary Collins has been a UCC student since 2010, and is currently finishing her second degree. Having been involved in pretty much everything else, she saved the best for last; The Express. She is due to graduate and (hopefully) get a job soon, so her neighbours will stop pointedly mentioning the girl up the road who became a nurse and is buying a house at the age of 26, especially to her parents.