Emily Smith, Editor-in-Chief
As the Spring semester is coming to a close, many editors on The Inkwell staff are getting ready for graduation and helping prepare for a new editorial board.
Although I am anxious to see what the next chapter holds, I am a little sad to wrap up my second and final year as Editor-in-Chief of The Inkwell. During my time at the student newspaper, I have worked with incredible people who I hope will be lifelong friends, but this weekly group project has taught me more than I could have ever imagined it would.
Sure, I became a better writer and editor. I grew a thick skin and perfected my news judgement. But most importantly I acquired a valuable mindset that I will carry for the rest of my life.
Former Student Government Association President and Armstrong Alumn Andy Cabistan regularly asks his Instagram followers a “question of the day.” He recently asked his Instagram followers what they think their life purpose is. This had me thinking for a long time and pondering my current quarter life crisis. I reflected on recent accomplishments and future goals before coming to the conclusion that my purpose, at least professionally speaking, has changed.
I used to think that my (professional) purpose was to inform my community by providing them with the latest and most accurate information possible. And it still is. However, I’ve learned at The Inkwell that my true purpose may not be that large-scale. My job is simply to listen to people.
It has not been an easy school year for the Armstrong community by any means and recent events have not been easy to report on. We have published a lot of really tough news stories- as every staff has.
But this year has brought far too many student deaths in a short amount of time, the fear of DACA students being deported and the uncertainty of our school’s future.
And many emotional interviews that I’ve conducted have ended with the interviewee saying-
“Thank you for listening to me.”
It is during these pressing times that I have really noticed our community listening to each other. Following each tragic student death, I witnessed peers comforting one another- swapping stories and hugging those they didn’t even know. I saw administrators and students meeting after hours to discuss crippling concerns of DACA students. And immediately following the announcement of our community being tampered with by the University System of Georgia, I saw fearless push back- but also plenty of conversational opportunities.
We live in a world that makes it extremely easy to be uninvolved. Yes, it’s easier and less scary to stay in bed with Netflix, but it’s not nearly as productive or rewarding. For me, getting involved happened because I joined The Inkwell.
I’m not saying that you have to write for The Inkwell (although we are always looking for more writers and it can be kind of thrilling to see your name in print) but consider doing something. Whether it’s getting involved with intramural sports, participating in Rush Week, or joining one of the many other clubs we have on campus, becoming a part of a group can help you find a place in the grand scheme of things and people to lean on. Don’t be afraid to go to an interest meeting. Don’t be afraid to engage in the world around you. Let’s continue to listen to one another.