How I remain tenacious in my workplace

My emotional journey of growth following months of ridicule and bullying


Essex Thayer is heated while imagining the disappointment of flat soda.

Selinna Tran, Life Editor

For many looking in, working at the Old Gold & Black seems like a fun job. There is a  display of community and camaraderie that seems almost too good to be true. Well, that’s because it is.

When I first joined, I was happy to be a part of an organization in which the members were focused on empowering each other’s voices. My dreams were soon crushed when I released an article sharing my love of warm cheesecake with the world.

Print Managing Editor and alleged friend, Ben Conroy, sneered in disgust at the concept and straight up told me I was crazy.

Editor-In-Chief, a leader that I believed to be just and kind, Alexandra Karlinchak, looked at me with such disdain that I felt ashamed for my opinions.

I do not even know where to get started with Online Managing Editor Will Zimmerman, a staff member that I once looked up to. A supposed guide and executive member that set an example of kindness simply laughed in my face at the idea.

Nevertheless, despite the nay-sayers and despite the disapproval of my heroes, I persevered and released a second article in retaliation to the haters. Again, I was appalled by the reaction that I received from my coworkers and the people that I looked up to. A place of supposed free thought and respect for others’ opinions seemed to be lost when it came to the idea of warm cheesecake.

If there was anything that was to be gained from this experience, it was the growth of tenacity and strength within me. I would not let them tear me down for simply holding an opinion, especially one that they disregarded without ever trying.

Later in the semester, I released a subsequent article sharing my love for flat soda, a delectable treat. I was hoping that this would be met with some kinder remarks, and perhaps, a display of empathy from my peers.

I was wrong.

Sports Editor Essex Thayer was the most adamant of them all in his intense disapproval of my dietary habits. A co-worker, a peer, a person I considered to be my friend laughed and made jokes at my expense.

At the end of production nights, I would make the trek back to my place of residence — the only thoughts that encompassed my mind were a barrage of jokes, insults and remarks made towards my food choices.

It was during these times that I truly understood the protagonist of the film, “Joker”, Joker.

Perhaps, I am just a misfit. An outsider. However, I learned to push these thoughts down. I grew stronger from the words that they threw at me.

We truly live in a society. And retaliating will only fuel the flames of the enemy. I learned to have tenacity and to not allow the cruel and hateful words of those around me to drag me down.

So, thank you, Old Gold & Black. You helped me grow as a person.