Below are letters from Alex Candage (’20), left, who was Editor-in-Chief of The Sandspur between 2019 and 2020, and Heather Borochaner (’21), right, who was Editor-in-Chief between 2020 and 2021.
I don’t have my dream job, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
I worked my way from a copy editor in my first year of college to Editor in Chief for my senior year. My time at The Sandspur gave me so many skills in addition to honing my writing and editing process. I had to inspire writers, hire and lead teams, manage payments and budgets, liaise with the Rollins administration, and so much more.
This newspaper and my degree prepared me for my dream: to become a book editor and eventually create my own publishing company focusing on queer, disabled, and otherwise marginalized communities.
But what I wanted and what I needed were very different. I needed to take a break. Running myself into the ground for years had exasperated my ongoing chronic illness symptoms, both physical and mental. Plus, it left me with little self-concept when the coronavirus pandemic cut my last semester far too short.
After many post-college breaks, the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far came: your job (including class) is not your life. We all deserve rest, hobbies, and a fulfilling social life. I no longer think that increasing monetary profit is the most important thing.
So when people ask what I do, at first I don’t say I’m a part-time copy editor for a website (which I am). I don’t bring up that I’m applying for social security disability (which I am) right away.
Instead, I introduce parts of the life that I’m building. For example, I’m focusing on my mental and physical health. I’m learning how to rest without guilt. I care for two wonderful kitties. I’m investing in mutual relationships. I create. I’m co-facilitating a book club for disabled folks. I’m getting even more involved in mutual aid.
So maybe I will find an accessible way to start my own publication one day. But I’m not compromising the things that really matter to do so. I hope you, dear reader, take inspiration from my self-care more than my college accomplishments. We’re all so much more human than a degree or occupation.
Now, I can finally say I’m happier and safer than I’ve ever been, and I’ll never give that up.
Wholly and truly,
It has nearly been a year since I graduated from Rollins College, and I have never been more grateful for my experiences on campus. With Alumni Weekend approaching quickly, it is the perfect time to reflect on how Rollins has prepared me for professional work.
During the summer of 2021, I held an internship at the LGBTQ History Museum of Central Florida, sorting archival metadata on the history of gay athletics within Central Florida. This internship lasted a few months, and required all of the knowledge I had garnered at Rollins’s exemplary Department of History, where I received my degree. Some of my best memories came from the idle working hours of the archive, learning the history of Rollins through the materials collected since its founding. I strongly believe every student should visit the archives at least once and see some of the college’s history for themselves – it has the sweater and sneakers of Mr. Rogers!
My time at the museum was rewarding, putting my passion and skills to the test in a professional environment.
After my internship, it became my goal to obtain a master’s degree in Museum Studies. I have learned much about the process and offer some advice to undergraduates who may be considering pursuing further degrees.
Financial aid is more scarce for a master’s degree, but the time commitment is also more flexible. Many students work professionally in their field and study simultaneously.
Many programs also require letters of recommendation and professional references with resumes. Applications with letters from an educational and professional source have a higher chance of being accepted. This is a prime reason why forming relationships with professors and taking internship opportunities are important – and thankfully, very easy to achieve at Rollins.
Currently, I am a media manager for a pest control company’s new newsletter titled Bug Free News which is e-mailed out to customers every month. My experience as a Sandspur writer, editor, and Editor-in-Chief has prepared me for this job. This is what made me realize just how much I took away from my four years with The Sandspur, and I truly miss it every day, along with Rollins College.