This past weekend, I formally finished my tenure as the Editorial Director (née Editor-in-Chief) of Spoon University at Berkeley. (Informally, I’m still seeing some articles through to publication.)
One of my previous fellow Spoonies has written about her experience in the past, and while this does cover some of it, there’s still an entire world that Anastasia doesn’t even begin to cover. Being the Editor-in-Chief/Editorial Director of an “online food publication by college students, for college students” has been an intensely stressful experience and, simultaneously, one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Yes, I pretty much get a free pass when it comes to talking about food — in fact, I think some of my friends may only talk to me about food. I have not only learned how to take better photos of food, but I also get the excuse of “I’m taking photos for a food publication” whenever anyone side eyes me for whipping out my phone (or camera) when food arrives at the table.
And of course, I become the de factor resident foodie in the room when it comes to making food choices. For example: “How much food should we get?” “Where should we go? “When should we get there?” (That depends on when you’re eating and if you have other food plans on the same day. Give me a couple hours to read all of the relevant restaurant pages on Yelp. Either around 9:15 am or 1:30 pm.)
It’s a pretty fantastic deal.
For those of you unfamiliar with our editing process, I send an email from our team email account to everyone associated with an article — this also includes me. This is my email inbox, and those aren’t even all the emails I sent. The rest just wouldn’t fit, and others didn’t include me in the recipient list.
So, now you ask, “Why do you like this so much when you have to send at least 22 emails on just one day of the week?”
The answer is not because I get to talk about food all the time.
It’s because I have the opportunity to work with so many people on creating and publishing work they’re proud of, to engage constantly in our mutual love for food, and — most importantly — to work with and foster their passion for writing.
I’ve never felt quite so proud as I currently am of our team at Spoon University at Berkeley. Sure, we may have hit a few (heh) kinks in the road this year, and I can still kind of feel the lingering bags from nights of lost sleep, but that’s not what I dwell on.
I remember the utter joy we all experienced during and after the success of multiple large events, and the collective excitement of the team when one of our articles (for which so many of us sacrificed our taste buds) made it to the top of the Spoon leaderboard in pageviews.
I remember all the time and effort we all put into making these things possible, and I can only feel pride and gratitude that I could be a part of each and every step we took to get there.
And, of course, as so many of our members have said to me — I get to find a community of like-minded people who love food, love to eat food, share food, and bond over food. I’ve met a lot of people in college, but somehow, there’s something different in the nature of a foodie that allows me (at least) to bond so much quicker and easier with them than people I’ve met in other contexts on campus.
There’s so much joy to be found in the experience of trying new food together, talking about it, and letting a conversation grow from something that’s so simple, but so natural and inherent in everyone’s lives.
I, for one, know that I have definitely found my community of like-minded people here at Berkeley. And regardless of how many emails as I’ve sent out as a result of it over the past year, I’m glad that I could help this community grow into something even bigger.
I am, admittedly, very sad to be stepping down from my position as Editor-in-Chief/Editorial Director, but I’m quite positive that the next year’s leaders of Spoon University at Berkeley will do their jobs even more justice than I have done mine.
And even though I’m no longer a leader of this crazy, food-loving community, that doesn’t mean I can’t still be a part of it.