Disclaimer: Following the footsteps of Natalie about anti-perfectionism in blog posts, I wrote this post on the fly with the best moments of 2017 in my mind. The absolute highlight of my year was being part of the student magazine Medicor.
In case you haven’t heard of it by now, Medicinska Föreningen has a quarterly student magazine called Medicor covering stories spanning from campus to globe with columns, reports, interviews, and analyses. Medicor aspires to inspire students to explore beyond the curriculum, to seek and tell the stories they find interesting and to dare. To try.
Trying to solve mysteries in the hidden parts of the world as a journalist, being a librarian or working at a museum were among my daydreams as a child. I have always been fascinated by a good story and loved the allusive atmosphere attractive visual compositions can create.
When I started my studies at KI, the student magazine Medicor was re-launched after a long idle period. As soon as I got a grip on life in Sweden, I joined the driven team contributing to the magazine.
It was also the time they were looking for an editor-in-chief. How could I miss this chance? It was a golden opportunity to reconcile everything I held dear. Little did I know that Medicor would become the highlight of 2017.
As the editor-in-chief, I appreciated many unique opportunities and experiences Medicor offered to me. Working with a creative group of people who share the same passion was quite thrilling, but of course, not without a learning curve.
There are no words to describe the feeling when I got the first magazine of the year in print. Still, like most things you do for the first time, there was plenty of room for improvement. In the middle of the preparation process, Hans Rosling passed away and we had to respond to that by dropping the cover story we were working on. Besides Hans Rosling, we lost Lennart Nilsson, Georg Klein in the same season and we wanted to acknowledge their work and legacy. There were no examples of such a trio to be featured as a cover story and we also had to come up with a cover photo to honour them all. What a challenge to start with.
There were no handbooks to devour about how to produce a student magazine and the success stories of the past Medicor issues were haunting me. In the end, we did deliver a magazine, with touching obituaries for all three of them. Even though there could have been a better way to prepare that cover, that did not stop me from feeling proud and a little bit emotional when I first held the magazine in my hands.
Doing research usually strips you out of such fast outcomes since most of the projects take a long time to reach the publication step or to the benefit of the public. Medicor, however, was the most rewarding experience giving the opportunity to hold your work in your hands in such short time.
For the second issue, I set out myself to do better. We even picked a “health and exercise” theme for the issue. By that time I had gathered a great team that strives for the best and we got used to each other’s working style. I tried to spread the joy around me by encouraging my friends and other students to contribute to the magazine. It was not the perfection we were after and we were not professionals. All that is needed was motivation and as the previous teams stressed, we were there to help each other to learn.
The result: amazing second issue, among many great articles featuring a great story about exercise mimetics including an interview with Associate Professor Jorge Ruas. Many first time writers, budding photographers, excited editors… With each issue, we grew more confident in our voice, got lessons from previous (mis)steps, and therefore got better at what we do. This autumn, we published a series of interviews “Humans of KI” . It puts a huge smile on my face every time I look at it or hear about it.
From planning to delivery, it is such a pleasure to take part in all stages of its making. Along the way, I have learned and improved a great deal. But, I must stress that I was not alone in this path. In fact, I think my part was minimal as a facilitator to make the voice of students heard. There were many talented people behind each and every Medicor and that is what is great about it.
Now, as the year ends, there is one last issue, not just for the year but also for me as an editor-in-chief. Ironically, we adopted a futuristic theme to prepare better for what might come, while drawing lessons from what already happened.
As my journey as editor-in-chief of Medicor ends, one of the teachings I will keep with me: Everything is a story and there are many ways to tell one.