Reflecting on my time at Rife!
Mikael is leaving Rife – here he reflects on his time whilst trying not to cry
Here’s something I think quite a lot of young people can relate to. Picture yourself caught in a predicament following on from college education. Do you go to uni to put off the adult world for a few more years? Or, do you pursue a different route like an arts foundation to bridge the gap to the inevitable higher education you’re not sure you even want or need (but it’s better than staring into the ether pondering your existential purpose I guess)? Well, that was me after I finished college, not really sure what I wanted to do next. I’m sure these trails of thought are familiar for at least some of you reading this but despite the external pressures in my personal life I still found myself believing deep down there was a route for me, a path that I knew was just a stone’s throw away despite having no clue what that was. Fast forward a few months and that was how I found myself applying for and eventually getting an internship with Rife Magazine.
Six months on and well, this is it. The ‘end’ of my internship at Rife. The reason I speech marked the word end is because, like anyone who works within the Watershed comes to find out, it’s never really the end here. Amidst the highs, the laughter and the stress, all but two-words repeatedly springs to mind. Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity and space to grow and simply be who I am. Thank you for the free food (particularly the brownies and cake) and thank you for the countless conversations I’ve had in the kitchen about my sack of oats I have for lunch EVERY DAY. The goal will always be to do something that you wake up in the morning and don’t feel burdened to do, I think I found an example of that.
It’s funny because in many ways the targets I set myself at the beginning of Rife aren’t the goals I am most proud of reaching now. Working on my career direction and passions have been a blessing but I think it’s the exponential growth I’ve experienced with regards to my confidence, work ethic and learning to fully believe in myself which have all meant the most to me. No longer am I afraid to use my voice unapologetically to say what needs to be said, no longer do I get crazy nerves when public speaking (for the most part lol) and no longer do I care if people don’t like the things I’m about!
From my fish bowl Rife family, to the Creative Team, to the PM studio, Events team, Finance, Cafe/Bar and Box Office, thank you to everyone for making my time here golden. Smiles and good vibes really go a long way and not only has Watershed’s ethos helped to raise my confidence, but it’s also raised my belief in the fact that there are amazing prospects beyond Watershed that are one hunna percent reachable! That familiar feeling of uncertainty doesn’t linger over me any more, even after I step out into the outside world once more. As Lottie told me on one of our coffee catch ups – figure out what I’m passionate about, what makes me happy and what gives me satisfaction and when I’ve done that use those as guidelines when looking at future opportunities. Happiness, flexibility, encouragement, and knowledge mixed with hard work and the crazy feeling of being out of my depth amongst other things are what I’ve loved about Rife and will continue to chase going forwards. Who would’ve thought that that weird guy with oats would grow into a passionate an informed writer, a person with a voice worthy of hearing and most importantly no longer a massive shambles at time management (shout outs to Sammy for that last one!)?
Joining Rife was and is so much more than a conventional job. I contribute much of the growth I’ve experienced down to simply being here and taking in the environment and peoples voices around me. Finding out where I fit, my voice, the things I want to take forwards and where I want to go were all-natural parts of the process. Shout outs to my Rife family though, the real MVPs who rode this journey alongside me. From our ethnic gang diversity jokes to our banter that I’m sure has been disturbing the whole creative team for the past six months (sorry about that I feel bad looking back). It’s been a blessing to be a part of Watershed (and a curse where Ella is concerned).
Thanks for putting up with me and my painstakingly long video process Bex (you’ve mastered the patience virtue clearly) and Sammy for being the best written editor/vegan wing in town! Thank you Euella for all the off-key sugar-daddy comments but also all the supportive and positive affirmations you dish out on a daily. In your own words, “you’re doing great” – keep shining!
Ella, I’ll miss our Milly rocks, randomly breaking into spoken word poetry, the fact that I can just bully you in general one minute but then we’ll be in full deep convo the next minute, I’ve truly found my little big sister – so best believe this won’t be the end of those good times! Thanks Tim for teaching me the value of spreadsheets… nah I joke I don’t think I’ll ever love them like you do. For real though it’s been a pleasure being your fellow Rifer, learning about your culture and identity, teaching you how to whip, walking past your draw full of snacks every day knowing full well you won’t eat them but still resisting the urge to ask you for some haha. I have every confidence in you, your amazing dancing and how far you’re going!
To Vic and Roseanna for being two supportive angels on each shoulder, I appreciate everything and just want you all to know it’s been a blessing working with people I can look up to and rely on. This also goes for everyone across Watershed and the previous Rifers (you all know who you are).
From content of the week to the amazing office banter and did I mention the free food? See you on the flipside Rife! Peace and Love x
Support more young people to have their voices heard
Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.