Artwork by Grace J.

By: Lillabeth B.

What a year it has been. As we approach the February anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in the U.S., it feels like we are lifetimes removed from a time without masks and social distancing. Our day-to-day has dramatically shifted, and in some ways, things will never be the same.

At the Lime Green Giraffe (LGG), we are becoming more mindful of the world around us and of how we treat ourselves. Self-care and self-improvement have been top-of-mind since self-isolation began, and whether you’ve been wanting to try a new sport, learn to code, get organized, or just give yourself some well-deserved pampering, there’s something in this issue for you.

On the other hand, if quarantine makes you restless for escape, you may want to check out one of our articles with book recommendations -- or, better yet, read some of our original short stories.

Want to be inspired to change the world? Read about women and girl activists from across the globe, check out our interview with girls who started their own podcast during the pandemic, discover the history of women and trousers, investigate government spending, or question why talking about menstruation is still taboo.

As usual, this issue speaks to our unique moment because our staff is living through it and reacting to it. This is what we LGGers always do, but to me at least, it has felt amplified this past year, maybe because the pandemic has unified everyone’s experiences in an unprecedented way. We all face many of the same challenges every day, and because the staff chooses what articles to write, we’re in a unique position to speak to this moment from a perspective many teen girls (and many adults) can relate to. This time has made it abundantly clear that our voices matter, and LGG continues to be an essential outlet for us.

It’s an important time to be an LGGer, but it’s a strange time to be saying goodbye. This editor’s note is the last one that I’ll write for LGG. This magazine has meant the world to me and to Emma, Grace, and Emily, the other graduating seniors and Emma and I have articles about our experiences writing for the magazine in this issue. I never said goodbye to last year’s graduating class in person, and I will likely graduate without meeting any of this year’s new writers face to face. I can’t lie; it’s an unsatisfying way to move on from the magazine. I know I’m not alone in this, though, and many of my peers are struggling similarly.

And while it’s hard to leave the LGG this way, I’m also so proud of everything we’ve accomplished and how much we’ve grown over this past year. We adapted beautifully to the pandemic, pulling off an amazing virtual service project (check out “Gigi Presents: Storytime with the Lime Green Giraffe” on our Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube) and planning our virtual writers’ workshop this coming Saturday, which is shaping up to be so much fun. We wrote about the pandemic, the social issues we continue to face, and our hopes for the future. I have met so many brilliant and passionate girls who will make a mark on the world, and I’m so thankful to have contributed to this team.

We will continue to learn and grow and strive and thrive, both individually and collectively, as writers and as a magazine. I want to shout out this year’s leadership team, and I especially want to thank our incredible adult volunteers, Marnye, Melissa, and Jo. They have worked so hard this year to make sure this year was the best it could be.

And thank YOU for reading and supporting the Lime Green Giraffe! We are so excited to continue sharing our work with you. This is my promise: As the world changes, we will change too. We will learn to persevere. We will love ourselves and each other, and we will interrogate the world around us, because we believe it can always be better.

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