Medford Mom: My Anchor

Aiden Menchaca / The Tufts Daily

Truth be told, dear reader, this column was a difficult one to put together. In honor of the Daily’s 40th anniversary on Feb. 25, I decided to write about my time at the Daily and the impact it’s had on my Tufts experience. Putting into words what this organization means to me without sounding cheesy was proving nearly impossible until I read a letter to the editor submission from Maureen O’Brien Klautky (LA’90), a Daily alumna and a former photo editor like myself. She wrote beautifully about her tenure on the Daily in the late ’80s, and I found myself particularly drawn to the following sentence from her letter: “During my years at Tufts, the Daily was my anchor, the one constant thing in my life.” Nothing has ever rung truer for me. 

I was 16 years old when I first started working at the Daily. Medford High School had just started an internship program with the Daily, with the hope of training students to learn the inner workings of a student newspaper so that our high school could institute its own. I was one of the students chosen to be an intern, which meant that I spent two hours per week in the Daily’s office in the dingy basement of Curtis Hall throughout my junior year of high school. I had no way of knowing that, in just two short years, that basement would become a second home to me as a Tufts student. 

I’ve been on the Daily throughout the entirety of my Tufts career and it has almost single handedly defined my college experience: not only did that basement become my second home, but the incredible people I worked alongside became my second family. We’ve spent countless late nights hunched over our laptops trying to get our articles edited, our layout arranged and our paper to the printing press on-time. We’ve laughed and argued and learned and grown and worked towards a shared goal: producing journalism that serves our community and speaks truth to power. 

What the Daily staff does every day is gruelingly difficult and extremely special. It all happens because this organization is full of people who care so, so deeply — about the truth, about justice and, most of all, about each other. I count myself lucky for the role I’ve played in producing this paper for four years, and it will be one of the things I miss most about Tufts. I know that the Daily will stand strong long after I graduate in May, and can only hope I’ve contributed something meaningful to this institution and that I’ve impacted it in the same way that it has impacted me. 

On a sentimental note, to the people that the Daily has brought into my life — Luke, Sean, Caleb, Alice, Shim, Daniel, Ally, Chris and many more names that couldn’t fit in a 500-word column — thank you for making Tufts home. No matter where life takes us, I will always look back on our time together at the Daily with the utmost fondness and gratitude. Please know that your leadership has changed the Daily and that your friendship has changed me. I love you all more than the Daily loves omitting Oxford commas. 

Happy 40th anniversary, Tufts Daily. Here’s to many more.