Column: This may be goodbye, but it is also a new hello

By Brooklyn Kiosow, Co-Editor-In-Chief

The Chronicle introduced Brooklyn Kiosow, co-editor-in-chief, to a new passion for journalism. (K’Von Jackson)

It’s funny—and ironic—that I applied to the Chronicle because I needed a job, and I’m leaving with a new career path in mind.

A few months ago, Multimedia Producer Jonah Ocuto told me that when he first saw me in the Chronicle’s newsroom in 2020, I looked “intimidating.” I laughed at this, not because I didn’t believe him, but because I probably only looked intimidating because I was terrified.

I came into a newsroom with no previous journalism experience, and I found myself surrounded by talented and passionate journalists, photographers and graphic designers.

You can imagine how scary that might be, and I quickly began to allow thoughts of impostor syndrome to overcome me. This, probably, is why my face looked so stone-cold.

I had to put on a front. Something that said, “Oh, yeah, I have totally done this before.”

I came in as a copy editor and quickly learned the importance of the job. I watched and took in what a lively newsroom looked, felt and sounded like. I wrote a few articles and began to understand that garnering journalistic bylines brought forth a new feeling of accomplishment.

And, now, I am co-editor-in-chief at the Chronicle. Who would have thought?

As a creative writing graduate student in the English and Creative Writing Department, I didn’t imagine I would leave Columbia loving journalism as much as I now do. When I walked through Columbia’s doors nearly three years ago, I didn’t know the Chronicle would open new doors for me when I left.

I also didn’t know I would make such good friends and develop such a sense of camaraderie here—from late-night texts with Co-Editor-In-Chief Mari Devereaux, Audience Engagement Editor Paige Barnes and Managing Editor Dyana Daniels, to Twitter threads with Opinions Editor Isaiah Colbert about our favorite anime.

It sounds cheesy, as the best things often do, but without the Chronicle, I wouldn’t be applying to the jobs I am now for after graduation because I didn’t know they were something I could do—and love doing. That feeling of impostor syndrome hasn’t completely gone away (try being surrounded by more than 30 talented people five days a week), but it isn’t as deeply engrained.

As I wrote in a previous editor’s note, General Manager Travis Truitt and Faculty Adviser Curtis Lawrence really helped me find my place here. They believed in my ability more than I did, and for that, I cannot thank them enough. They continually push Chronicle staffers to dig deeper and produce their best work.

As most writers know, sometimes it can be difficult to describe yourself as a writer. I have it in my Instagram bio, but if someone on the street asked me what I did, I would never say, “I’m a writer.”

It’s scary, and vulnerable, to announce myself as such. It feels like a title that I haven’t quite earned yet. But my time at the Chronicle—interviewing authors and filmmakers about their latest work, covering breaking news in just a few hours time, spending entire days interviewing students and faculty about their thoughts on the cancellation of spring break—has made the words, “I’m a writer,” a little closer to falling off the tip of my tongue.

It hasn’t all been easy—I applaud Devereaux and former Co-Editor-In-Chief Kendall Polidori for managing a newsroom for as long as they did. I came in a little late and in a less traditional fashion, and man, it is a lot of work.

I truly wish I had found this newsroom sooner and that I was able to spend more time surrounded by the students that make the Chronicle what it is. But at least I found it, and I’m leaving with more than I could have asked for.

I look forward to seeing where I go from here and how this experience shapes my future in unexpected ways, but I am even more excited to be a ghost rooting for the Chronicle from the sidelines.