Writing is a polarizing experience.
The process of having an article read, comprehended, and scrutinized are the inevitable jaws at the bottom of the ocean that never seem to close. Or a whirlpool at the end of a riptide that I never seem to notice after the initial struggle. Thinking of an idea, anguishing over drafts of incomprehensible brain dumps, and finally being content with a piece of writing brings a false sense of relief that quickly gets cleaved from my ego. Throwing my writing, a piece written with care and detail, into the palms of strangers opens the possibility of having my work discarded, demeaned, or degraded. It’s a dreadful feeling. Yet it’s a feeling that few of us vie for. The chance to articulate the well-intentioned, inner workings of our minds on a variety of topics and have them displayed in a permanent composition of literature is the epitome of journalism. Regardless of whether we’re being cringed at or praised, our voices are being heard in an academic environment where it’s easy to feel silenced.
Student journalism is essential.
It is the essence of student life, not only for writers but for readers and non-readers alike. Each printed issue sitting on a metal stand on campus represents a cluster of student voices being exhibited. Highlighting student voices on campus establishes the fact that there is space to respond and space to react. The Medium allows students to consume current campus events through a student frame of perspective rather than through the faculty. Writers are the messengers and mouthpieces of the student collective that exist throughout the various inescapable academic hierarchies.
In the cog of harrowing societal news or scouring through endless scientific papers, reading about a cool Spotify playlist, an odd movie review, or occasional romantic advice is enough to give students a break from our competitive academic sphere and offer a look into the minds of the often-faceless students that surround us on campus. Writing at The Medium has given me an escape from my tedious science-based routines and allowed me to rediscover my love for the arts. Student newspapers are intrinsic in forming a sense of community on campus. You may never meet a student writer on campus, or even read an article, but the idea that there are stable opportunities for student voices to be heard provides a sense of comfort; a glimmer of hope that what we say matters in the grand scheme of academia. Our opinions, news, comments, advice, and interests are diverse, intricate, satirical, mundane, or sometimes a little monotonous, but they mean something to someone on campus.
Writing is the ribbon of solace I’ve chosen.
Even if my articles aren’t being read, what matters is that they’re being written. To anyone reading this, if you have something to say—a poem to write, a movie to review, a topic to rant about, or a topic to rave about—student journalism at The Medium might be for you. Although this is the end of the editorial year, I hope that student journalism at The Medium continues to thrive. Looking forward to next year. Until then.
Thank you for your ever-so-thoughtful reflection on student journalism. It warms my heart that you’ve found solace and comfort in contributing to The Medium. In every submission we receive, including yours, our team has the privilege to be welcomed into your world, inspired by your perspectives, and be witness of history—because The Medium is a document of our campus’ history—a “permanent composition of literature” as you’ve written. This is a privilege. Not only are writers’ contributions the lifeline of our publication, but it’s also an honour to play a role in the development of writers and editors.
As a student of chemistry, I sympathize with the desire to seek “an escape from tedious science-based routines.” We’re so happy you’ve found this escape with us, and we cannot wait to continue to be this safe space for you—and for others—in the years to come.
“Even if my articles aren’t being read, what matters is that they’re being written,” you wrote. I’m reading them, Kuicmar. And when we see writers in the halls, in our emails, or at our events, we remember your writer’s voice, and it’s always a pleasure to put a face to a name. So, thank you for connecting. And if there’s ever any way we can make writing less polarizing, remember we’re here to grow with you, so we will always welcome any feedback in our inbox or at our door.
With all our love,
Elizabeth Provost, Volume 49 Editor-in-Chief & The Medium’s Editorial Team