Senior column: Learning to love a hassle
May 19, 2023
Creating my application for The Sidekick leadership team (in which the entertainment editor position was, in fact, not included, later turning out as a happy surprise), was, truth be told, a hassle and a half.
It was also quite possibly the most fun I have ever had while applying to something.
Squatting in my parents’ master bathroom, I spoke clearly into the microphone of my phone to voiceover my stop-motion “My Story” video––the most dreaded part of my application. The bathroom, because the acoustics were the best my house had to offer. The phone, balanced on white porcelain, because I’d tested out a multitude of other recording methods and this seemed to be the only pleasant one to listen to. Stop-motion, despite my inexperience with the medium, because venturing beyond one’s comfort zone is exactly what being a part of The Sidekick means to me.
If gathering enough confidence to turn in my rudimentary sketches and mildly embarrassing spoken-word-esque voiceover wasn’t enough proof I was willing to do just that, I wasn’t sure what was.
I’ve always been a writer––I’ve always been comfortable with written words and that was my initial reason for joining The Sidekick. Another thing I’ve always been, though, is stubborn. I liked drawing the lines of my boundaries and remaining firmly inside them. I stuck to what I knew.
But then, I joined The Sidekick, and my first assignment appeared to be writing as if I knew everything about the school mascot that I didn’t even know existed. That’s been a constant theme throughout these two years, being proven I actually don’t know anything about a subject I was previously confident about. In fact, I underwent a humbling experience involving auto-focus on my first ever photo assignment just last Wednesday.
The point is this: I don’t think I could have found such belonging and such a challenge within anything other than this program. There are many things I’m still stubborn about––Oxford commas, my hatred for cheese, learning to be ambidextrous––but there’s others that The Sidekick has irrevocably changed and unexpectedly brought into my life.
I check my email obsessively (11 times an hour, and that’s probably an underestimate). I read the news when I have nothing else to do, which is something my fantasy-obsessed sophomore self would have never expected. Swiftly after my transcription software of choice’s free audio uploads ran out, I shed my infatuation with perfect handwriting for a chicken-scratch shorthand. That last one was an especially hard-fought battle.
Looking back at the past two years is, for fear of simplifying it, crazy. I can only describe this exponential of a learning curve as a Sidekicker-special. You think it’s too much until all of a sudden you’re aiming for more, you think you won’t be able to do it until it’s done, you think you’re not ready until it’s over.
Now, I’m ready to cut back on the sentimentality, but there’s one more thing I want to put on record before I sign off. We talked about the definition of a hassle a few weeks ago in class: a mixed bag, some inconveniences, but some learning opportunities too.
I still like my comfort zone. By some twist of fate, I think I have learned to love dealing with hassles. I attribute that to the one and only, The Sidekick. There’s been more than a few uncomfortable moments. There’s been some bathed in the light of discovery and many I never want to forget. I’m honestly, truly, grateful for every single one.
Follow Saniya (@SaniyaKoppikar) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.