Kleigh’s Year in Review

Photo by Kleigh Balugo

By Kleigh Balugo

Dear Kindergarten Mag readers, 

In the words of the great Frank Ocean… That’s a pretty fucking fast year flew by. 

It’s been a year since we started Kindergarten Mag! I’m so proud of how much we’ve done already, even though I know it’s only the beginning.

It’s surreal to know how many talented young writers and artists we’ve met through Kindergarten. Me and Tracy feel so lucky that they’ve continued to share their work with us so selflessly. I honestly feel like we assembled our own dream team and we are in constant awe of all the things they produce in the name of Kindergarten. 

Being co-editor in chief and a contributor of Kindergarten has allowed me to become way more motivated to pursue my own personal projects. I go to an arts college so I do a lot of different projects pertaining to my different interests in school. 

Since I’m in my senior year of college now, I’ve done tons of projects already. (Some of which you have seen on Kindergarten, or will in the future, hint hint.) I always find myself pouring my heart and soul into these semester long projects and when I complete them it makes me feel so empty that no one outside of my class will ever view them. 

But, since we started Kindergarten, I actually feel like I have a platform to share all of these assignments that I’ve worked so hard on. That’s the best gift any college student could ask for. I worked on the Kindergarten mini documentary for almost six hours every night. I cramped into the one chair at the kitchen table that was free from my roommates’ clutter and hoarded the shared wifi connection. All of that stress was worth it in the end, when I got to share the video I worked so hard on with all of our Instagram followers.

We also raised over $300 for the Asian Women Alliance by selling our Philippine sun stickers, which was a really big deal. Me and Tracy could have never donated that much on our own, so seeing how much readers and contributors wanted to help was pretty insane. Plus, cute stickers, which you should know by now I’m never opposed to. 

As much as I enjoyed doing that, I really have to say that my favorite thing I did this year was make the Heat Wave zine. (But, I do think those InDesign pages are permanently burned into my brain.) I loved the tingly sensation of holding something real, that we made, in my hands. Plus it feels so cool to collaborate with that many contributors and see all of our work laid out next to each other. I was so happy with how it turned out and it really wouldn’t be possible without all of our contributors’ help and Eryn’s beautiful photographs, of course. 

I feel so lucky to see how much Kindergarten has grown in a year. I remember when me and Tracy would obsess over how much we wanted to make Kindergarten and now it’s an actual, real thing. I know we’re a pretty niche community at the moment, but there is no better feeling than someone from school asking me about Kindergarten or reading comments on the site from readers who really resonated with a certain post. 

Thank you to everyone who made Kindergarten’s first year a great one. To our contributors, readers, Heat Wave zine purchasers, Kindergarten Mag sticker collectors, Tracy my co-editor in chief, and all the eyeballs that have ever graced that pink homepage of ours.  

I’m so excited for the future of Kindergarten! I honestly spend an unhealthy amount of time daydreaming about all the things I want to do. More to come! Thanks so much for reading us this year!

Love,

Kleigh

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