By Micha Frazer-Carroll
Long-time no speak! As I write this, I must confess I’m feeling a bit guilty, because although you probably didn’t notice, we’re ten days into April and this is my first Editor’s letter since February. Whilst I did intentionally skip March, due to being knee-deep in student politics, as the each day of this month has ticked on by, I’ve grown increasingly wary of the fact that we’re almost half way through April, and I haven’t uttered a peep.
During the time that’s elapsed, I’ve settled into full-blown Editor Mode – and have been having lots of bursts of creativity in the form of All of the Ideas and All of the Commissions, but actually haven’t written anything myself in a very long time. Now I’ve finally sat down to do this, I’ve got that stuttering ‘where do I even begin’ feeling in my fingertips, the same kind you get in your throat when you call home for the first time in a bit too long and don’t know how to update your parents, or what to even update them on – where to start. So I’m feeling slightly rusty and pretty inarticulate right now, so in short, disclaimer: the writers’ block is super strong right now, pls forgive.
But yes, in the spirit of the personal, I was elected CUSU Welfare and Rights Officer last month, which was a truly truly fantastic honour, as well as something that gave me a lot of shakes, tummy aches and only a couple panics (which, as a terrible long-term anxiety sufferer, is perhaps a new record).
In the realm of the academic, I’ve been keeping nice and busy, which is how I like it, running around conducting research for my third year Psychology project, which focuses on families headed by gay fathers and lesbian mothers, and looks at the effects of stigma on the psychological adjustment of parents, and their kids. It’s been super-rewarding work and has allowed me to zip up and down the country meeting and interviewing tons of cool people, which is really a climate in which I feel in my element. It’s also always rewarding to be doing work that feels like it’s for the ‘Greater Good’. The definition of what this is varies from person to person, but if you feel it, in your work, or in your hobbies, remember that it’s a blessing and a privilege; to have the time, resources, and energy to be able to access that unique feeling.
In Blueprint news, March was a great month for the magazine, and I have you, as readers, to thank for it. We smashed 15,000 views on the website, which I actually hadn’t quite processed the gravitas of until my sister’s boyfriend pointed out that that was around the size of a small village. The idea of a geographical Blueprint village was far too exciting an idea for me to handle, and I had to dial it back before I got carried away by the next big idea.
The end of the month saw a glorious Mothers’ Day series, featuring so many incredibly talented artists and writers, and resulted in us getting picked up by the BBC – check out Shynee Hewavidana’s interview on her article about her mother’s accent at 2:13:00 here.
Moreover, we opened for applications for a nationwide team, in a push to recruit editors from around (and maybe beyond) the UK. Applications close on the 15th, so if you want in, get applying – otherwise watch this space for announcements regarding the new team.
Zooming onwards and upwards, this month we’ve got a lot of exciting content coming your way, spanning broad-ranging mental health topics from PMS, to recovering from emotional abuse, to the psychological impact of hangovers. There’s also some funny and more light-hearted stuff in store – get ready for a tongue in cheek fashion feature by Shehr Bano Hassan titled How I dress when I’m depressed, as well as some more comics.
Finally, I’m aware that as I gear up for my uni exams, many of you will be doing the same. I’ll be doing my best to make sure content reflects this – expect revision guides similar to our handy piece on dissertation-writing – as well as some chilled-out playlists to keep you afloat during the revision period.
Wishing you a warm and fruitful April, full of new hope, new life and new beginnings (can you tell I’m feeling gushy?)
Lots of love,