2020 was supposed to be the year everything came together. Instead, it was the year life got in the way. When we started this we were four Editors who had never met and had hardly spent time in the same room. Now, almost ten months later we can still say we hardly spent time in the same room. That is kind of the metaphor for 2020. For Josh Nexus was a dream job, for Donnella it was a welcome distraction from everything else in her life, for Luka it was a creative outlet, and for Harry… Harry liked it well enough but has a lot of assignments to do.
The plan was to get four unique voices with different motivations into a room three or four times a week and create something that should and perhaps could have been a mesh of those ideas and viewpoints that would challenge and entertain. We could spend hours talking about all the things we really wanted to achieve but so could everyone else in 2020. Honestly, it seems fucking redundant to even critically look at the machinations of a weekly magazine.
When COVID hit we all retreated. Josh missed the structure and the motivation, Harry went back home, Donnella was made all too aware of the challenges that come with being a strong and independent matriarch and Luka, well, Luka either went entirely off the grid like the fucking renaissance Bear Grylls he is OR he had a lot of early morning classes. More than the physical though, we all retreated to the safety of our priorities. What was ultimately important in March didn’t seem as important in April. Christ, we had to remember Kobe Bryant died for last week’s issue.
If we are honest we were still proud of those first 17 issues of the year but they didn’t seem as important or relevant anymore. You can only do so many Breather Briefing’s, This Vs That’s or Mullet’s of the Week while the world is burning, before you feel a little dead inside and immune to it all. I think the need for a new source of inspiration came when Josh told us that he had repurposed the story of a well known former All Black for a Breather Briefing.
So we changed. For the last six weeks we designed a campus, we talked about social media and its impacts. We put out two issues in one week with the excellent Nukutawhiti for Te Wiki o Te Reo, and Nexus thinks about its future. We even managed to annoy pretty much every side of campus by naming our 50 worst people.
Nobody knows what the future holds for any of us. As students in some ways, it’s good that 2020 happened, we are all more engaged, we care more about politics both domestic and abroad, and we have finally started to have meaningful conversations about race, death, drugs, and racism. It sounds strange but maybe 2020 was good for us. Maybe the only real takeaway from the year should be Black Lives Matter and enjoy the time you have with people (unless it is with Josh or Harry in the office on a deadline day).
As for the four of us, we absolutely couldn’t have done this without Ashlea Curran who is the queen of Nexus and designed every magazine, Kendrah Worsley who helped write, and re-write even if she does have shit chat. Nat Calvert and Wendy Ruan who made even Harry’s shitty flat look liveable in their videos. Dave West who is a flat out, communist. Matthew Rae who is either a genius or a serial killer. The rest of the WSU Staff, the sponsors whose BurgerFuel and Sals vouchers have occasionally been liberated from Kendrah’s desk. And Lamb Creative who did all of our printing – we never actually met Luke but he doesn’t hate us. Thanks to every contributor who is named on the back cover too. We hope to steal some of your cigarettes at Club Awards when Kendrah is done subbing this.
Finally, four last things:
1. We have enjoyed it immensely. If you are thinking about getting involved, get involved!
2. The new Editor for next year is Hannah Petuha who will do a fantastic job. The four of us scared James so much he has gone back to one Editor but she is brilliant.
3. Thank you for reading. If it allowed us to spend any time entertaining you or causing you to think it was worth it (and it got us together, we genuinely discovered we like each other – even Luka Love who we are sure works in porn when he isn’t in class).
4. Quick note – we drank the last of the beer in the stolen Red Bull Fridge, you may want to fill that up (thanks James).
With all the love of a first-year in a foam party –
Donnella, Harry, Josh, and Luka – Your 2020 Editors.