Editor-in-Chief Farewell: Emily Sweet


Emily Sweet

Bark has given me everything I wanted out of high school: a super comfortable grey hoodie that matches with everything, an inflated sense of importance on publishing days and a class that laughs at 45 percent of my jokes.

It’s every little girl’s dream! But seriously, it is. What drives someone to devote their last two years of high school (and numerous, lengthy Spotify queues full of ABBA) single-handedly to Bark?

Let’s back up. Sophomore year, I fell in love with Bark’s community. I was enamored with the late nights and early mornings, laughter, determination, passion (wc) and grit. It was magnetic, and coming into the position of EIC, that’s what I was striving to maintain.

Last September, my main focus was to be loved. I didn’t want to be the bad guy. Ever. And, honestly I still don’t. It’s not fun to tell people you consider friends that they need to stop talking during class, the photos they took for a story won’t cut it, there’s nothing you can do because they missed a deadline. But it has made me a stronger leader. I’ve been able to find a balance between being playful and funny, but also being assertive and authoritative. I didn’t think it was possible that I could be a casual, lively leader. But I proved myself wrong! Yes, we are a newspaper, but first and foremost, we are a community and…  Bark is supposed to be fun.

There are times when I doubt myself (usually 10:45 p.m. the night before glossy). Being a leader is scary. I’m responsible for what happens in the programwhether that be successes or blunders. It’s discouraging to look out into the sea of faces on a block-day and get the impression that the class would rather be shoveling coal into the bottom of the Titanic than doing the activity we put together, but those are learning experiences. I want so badly for everyone to be infatuated with the program the way I am, but I’ve come to realize it’s not something I can force. At a certain point, all I can do is just keep promoting the work-hard/play-hard mentality that drew me in.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it; I disliked a lot of aspects of my high school experience. Quite frankly, high school sucks. There’s a lot of things I won’t miss about Redwood, but I will miss Bark because the awe-inspiring staff (staff I love you, you make my world go round) I have found has taught me that you can be loved and respected, you can be a successful leader and also have a good time. And for a cynical, sarcastic girl, that’s really special.