The Chronicle is my best-kept secret from my parents

farewell column

What’s the worst lie, whether it’s blatant deception or simply omission of information, you’ve told your parents? Don’t worry: You’re allowed to plead the fifth. As for me, I may have disclosed my 3 a.m. disapproving escapades to my mother, but I have lied about all participation in The Chronicle.

My journey with The Chronicle began in freshman year as an Opinion columnist. I would publish your typical articles — everything from shaming students for having a shorter attention span than a goldfish to applauding Chinese protests for COVID-19 governmentally enforced regulations. You know, the usual. Jump forward almost three years, and now I, unbelievably, am an Opinion managing editor.

Despite the wide spectrum of topics, I strived to have my articles address events that capture the complexity of humanity: ideas most people would acknowledge for a second but scroll past the next, rushing to class to catch the C1 or take a photo with Gwyneth Paltrow. At Duke, students are bombarded with obligations and demands, living in a bubble, and, like other students, I found myself never having enough time: to laugh, to cry, to think, to say good-bye.

My deception about The Chronicle stems from how growing up, I was discouraged from having an opinion about controversial, sensitive topics such as abortion, LGBTQIA+ and sexual assault. I was never encouraged to change the world; I was encouraged to let the world change me. Always observe and adapt but never question or comment. For I was too naïve and too inexperienced to truly understand people, society and the world. Thus, despite the years of efforts for this community, I have never told my parents about The Chronicle, as journalism would oppose my roots.

I don’t necessarily disagree with my roots because to care requires effort, and effort is coupled with burden. Most individuals struggle to balance the emotional intensity of current events with comparably demanding priorities. Yet, through The Chronicle, I recognized that we’re at the age where we are supposed to be developing opinions, formulating ideas, navigating the world to find where our position possibly stands. We are immensely fortunate to be at a campus that fosters such thought and diversity, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? You’re allowed to be wrong — emphasis on the “we are supposed to be developing.” Indeed, there are a couple of articles I wouldn’t mind rescinding because my opinions have changed over the years. Nevertheless, I’ll leave them there — a snapshot of who I was at the time and how I perceived the world.

To acknowledge and comment on the world around us is crucial to existing; it’s a fundamental qualification to be a member of society: to exist. Thus, I encourage you to take hold of existing in the world and to not put a hold on existing. Perhaps, I will also take my parents off hold and finally share the special moments created with The Chronicle. As a faithful member of The Chronicle for almost four years, I bid you farewell and remind you to — even in times of confusion, controversy and uncertainty — always have an opinion.

Linda Cao is a Trinity Senior and was an opinion managing editor for The Chronicle’s 119th volume. She would like to thank Audrey, Viktoria, Chrissy and this year’s opinion managing editors and columnists for their support and persistence.

Linda Cao | Opinion Managing Editor

Linda Cao is a Trinity senior and an opinion managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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