Executive Editor

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Leonard Valenzuela

Executive Editor

Another year gone by. I can’t believe it’s near the end of the semester.  Looking back to where I was just a year ago as a freshman, I could not anticipate being where I am today.  Freshman year, I came to this school along with a friend of mine, but we’ve gone our separate ways as our own lives have begun to unfold.  I was on my own for the first time in my life, making all my big decisions of what I want my future to be.  Contrary to popular belief by the friends and acquaintances I’ve made so far, I know exactly what I’m doing.  Though I may not see where this will lead me later on, I’ve learned to deal with what’s on my plate.

Last year, I was just kid trying to find his way around campus when the building my next class is in is actually the one I just passed by.  I might be best described by the term “derp”, if you’d seen me that first week of school.  Boy, was that week fun.  I joined both Nucleus and Vector that year as a photographer.  To be honest, I only joined because I knew this would be a great place to start making friends and have a place to hang out during the day, since my schedule that semester was all over the place.  I didn’t expect to make any friends that year, but it turns out these group of kids are actually not that different from me.  Just regular 19 and 20 year olds trying to find a way to fit in; or in my case, a way stand out but still be social with the people trying to fit in.  A very special shout out to my good friend Kathleen, with whom I became friends the second day of school, skipping around to various places around campus.  Last year, I was just a photographer.  Last year I was just the same goofy kid I was back in high school.  Last year, I felt free for the first time with no responsibilities to worry about.

Speaking of responsibilities, I had absolutely no intention of being part of an executive board (e-board) for either organization, especially since this is my first, going into second, year.  However, from the previous editors’ perspective, I was the only one qualified for the position. I was sort of pushed into the executive editor position I am in now, and for good reasons. One, I contributed weekly to The Vector, sending necessary photos from events that happened that week, two, there was no one else Romer Jed Javier Jesus Felizardo de la Luna Medina felt could do the job, even as a first time layout guy, and three, there was literally no one else to fill the position.  It has its good and bad, but in the final weeks toward that election I realized that this is a great organization, and I would not want to let it die down because I didn’t feel like stepping up and taking on responsibilities.  It was a tough and scary decision, but in so doing, I chose to run for the position. This was a decision that made me realize I’m going somewhere in life.  Though it may not be directly related to engineering, being a part of an e-board really changes the way you act around people.  To be professional and firm or to be yourself and lack leadership was the main theme for all of us this first year as an e-board, in my eyes that is.

We had no idea what we were doing. We had no idea where this would lead us, nor the direction of The Vector. It was like The Avengers assembled and had to find a way to merge our differences and work as a team in order to prevent Loki from conquering us and save the world. All I can say is that no second year student has to go through all the ups and downs we all went through.  Yes, it is part of the responsibility we had to face, but it went over and beyond what we anticipated.  You make connections as well as enemies along the way, and for some, a loss of friends and dignity.  It’s a sad truth, but in the end it tests you for the worst to come.  Up to this point, there have been a lot of lies, miscommunication, and talking behind each other’s back. For Vectoids that were unfortunate witnesses and know exactly what I’m talking about, I assure you that we will come back as better, stronger leaders. Although we’ve met our goals for the year, there is much to improve. This time, we will be a stronger, united team in hopes of making this organization better for the future years to come at NJIT.

Last year, I was just a photographer. Now I’m a part of something more. Who knows what I’ll be next?

About The Author

Leonard-Angelo Valenzuela

I was born in Quezon City, Philippines and officially came to America in 1996. My hobbies include eating, sleeping, photography, and occasionally, taking long walks in the forest. I am a third year at NJIT and I study Mechanical Engineering Technology. I am currently the Executive Editor for The Vector, who handles the layout of the newspaper. My philanthropy in life is to make other people smile, and let them realize that Something Matters In Life: Everything.

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