Down to the Wire

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It was 12:30 p.m. and sweat was rolling offmy forehead. Surrounded by an army of diskettes, notes and reminders, Iworked desperately; I only had 10 minutes to put the finishing toucheson a publication thousands would read. This is a reflection not only ofmy leadership skills, but also my ability to fill the shoes of those whohad reigned as editor before me.

Our school newspaper, asunorganized and inconsistent as it may be, was due in the hands of ouradvisor within minutes. In the midst of final deadline madness, Irealized that none of the photographs had been backed-up. The threat ofan artless newspaper reaching the hands of students, teachers,administrators and community leaders prompted nightmarish images offailure and embarrassment. Time to work some magic. I enlisted 20 staffmembers and, utilizing every computer in the chaotic room, we openeddocuments, transferred files and resized pictures at a rate previouslyunimagined. We were fueled by pure adrenaline. Just seconds beforedeadline, every picture, chart, cartoon and graph had successfully beensaved.

I marched to my advisor’s desk, carefully protecting the disk Inow valued more than life itself. The paper was finished. I’d not onlykept my thoughts and efforts focused, but I’d also maintained arelatively high comfort level – despite the rush.

I anticipatesimilar situations in college that will test my strength and endurance,forcing me to perform under pressure. Complying with self-imposed ruleswill be a challenge, since I have lived a sheltered life under parentalcontrol. With the insight of my experiences, I expect to respond to newobstacles in the same collected manner. Hard work, dedication andcommitment are some lessons I have learned as editor-in-chief. Asolution is always possible.

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