Letter from the editor

Dear Students, Staff, and Lake Stevens Community Members: 

The end of the year is fast approaching as we near a much-needed summer break. After all the learning changes and challenges that students and staff have tackled during the year—whether it be online learning or the transition to hybrid—we have all had a taxing year. 

The academic impacts that online and hybrid learning had on students are significant. Finding motivation and even understanding content in the new way it was presented has caused many students to feel like they’re slipping behind. 

Consequently, I also want to address the fact that the events of this year have had a profound impact on the mental health of students. 

While I can understand why academics continue to be important during this closure and partial re-opening, I implore you all to reassess the way we view academic “success” during this time, and even post-COVID. 

Learning is important, but only if we are really learning. Learning and pursuing interests and avenues for self-expression and creativity is, what I believe to be, far more important than a grade, or stressing over a difficult class. I cannot overstate how much more important finding joy and living life is than any one class we will ever take in our lifetimes. 

My wish for our community, and especially for students, is that we can have a moment of reprieve. The simplicity of enjoying life is far more important than dwelling on how this year may have made some of us feel as if we are falling behind. 

Let me say this to you. You are not falling behind; just making it through this year in one piece is enough to be incredibly proud of. 

It can feel exhausting hearing how we need to “look on the bright side” or “make the best of a bad situation.” You don’t need to make the best of a bad situation. Let’s just make it through this year. 

I also wanted to take a moment to congratulate The Valhalla staff for being introduced to journalism in such a condensed period of time. Learning how to be a quality journalist in such a short period has been difficult, and yet incredible work has been produced by The Valhalla this semester despite this. 

Hopefully next year The Valhalla can be a year-round installation in our community’s lives. We already have a list of stories we can’t wait to write the moment we get back to campus next year. I am also excited to say that I will be joining The Valhalla next year as editor-in-chief.

Follow The Valhalla on Instagram to be notified the moment The Valhalla gets back into the swing of things. We will continue to improve our website design and features and improve our community outreach. Follow our new Twitter account that we will begin to post on starting next year! 

Congratulations on making it through this tough year! Take a break, you deserve it. 

I have compiled a list below of some of Valhalla’s best work so far this year. Take a look! 

I’ll see you all next year,  

Graphic created by Hailey Cordell