Every morning, I wake up at 7:15. I spend around a half hour answering emails from all five of my accounts, check my phone for any messages from frazzled writers or graphic designers, wipe away the little eye crusts that tend to form after only six hours of sleep, and get dressed for a full day of high school.
My name is Quincy Bulin and at the time of writing this, I'm the 18-year-old editor-in-chief of Smart Girl's Guide, an internationally read online magazine from The Smart Girls Group, a one-stop shop for the next generation of superstar women to connect and grow. When people hear this, many assume that this is some project I do during my free time (what's that?), or that the writers are just me and a couple of friends. Not to be super prideful or anything, but that's pretty far from reality.
It's exhausting. And worth it. But also really exhausting. The Smart Girls Group is a company, after all, so this is really a full-time job for me. It comprises of over 250-plus Smart Girl Sisters in every single timezone, an internship program, a daily blog, campus chapters, and some other crazy stuff. Per the startup culture, everyone is involved in everything, especially when you're on staff.
This is a position I could potentially hold for the rest of my professional life, and so being able to go through the "make a million mistakes and do stupid things" stage early? Just another blessing. We're growing at a crazy pace because of this hard work.
I didn't start as the editor-in-chief. I actually began as a weekly writer for our blog and a copy editor for the Guide. The Smart Girls Group was introduced to me at a very pivotal point in my life: I had just moved from a small town in Connecticut to the great big city of Austin, Texas. I was lonely, and this sisterhood provided me with something to wake up for when I just wanted to stay in bed and revel in that loneliness.
Since I didn't really have many friends, I was always available and willing to take on extra work: Filler articles needed? On it. Pieces need last minute editing? Pass them along. So when Emily, the founder of The Smart Girls Group, asked me to take on the position of leading the copy editors, I obliged. I kept writing, volunteering for other positions (I even continued my summer internship after being offered the editor-in-chief position back in August), and taking on extra tasks just because.
Even though things had changed for the better since I moved to Austin, The Smart Girls Group was simply too embedded into my everyday life to give any part of it up. I loved the brainstorming sessions. I loved emails full of exciting news and development. I loved connecting with other Smart Girl Sisters from all over the world. I still do!
My Smart Girl Sisters and me? We email each other in capital letters. Send each other selfies. Write each other hand-written letters. Never, ever forget a birthday. Call each other on the phone to ask a quick question and end up talking for four hours. Fan girl over who follows us on Twitter and plan our future apartment together on Pinterest.
This job isn't for the faint of heart though, especially at my age. Things don't always go as planned. People forget to email you back and you're left with a tight deadline, all by yourself. It's not always fun, but it's the fun, exciting moments that make everything else worth it. I am lucky to call myself the 18-year-old editor-in-chief of an international magazine, but I am so much more proud to call myself a Smart Girl Sister.