Thank you for the last four years. At the start of high school, it felt daunting to find a space where I felt completely free. It was not until a few months into freshman year that I found myself sitting in an introduction meeting to the Evanstonian. Immediately I felt welcomed, even though I was surrounded by complete strangers. With open arms and smiles, I was invited to join in a community with unconditional support as I dipped my toes in the world of journalism. These complete strangers turned out to be other writers and editors, people I would quickly learn to call friends and mentors.
Freshman year blew by, but at the start of sophomore year, I once again found myself writing stories for the Evanstonian. I bounced between sections, trying to find my place among the other eager writers. When I landed in a seat at the News table, I finally understood what everyone referenced when they talked about the thrill of writing an article. Each article presented me with an opportunity to explore different communities throughout Evanston. News became my source of academic thrill and excitement. Each story presented itself as a new opportunity to research, investigate, interview and write an article making current events digestible for readers. I had tried to find my place among the creativity that flowed through feature pieces and the insight that radiated from opinion articles, but news is where I instantly felt at home.
The Evanstonian has been the place where I learned to let my creativity intersect with my love and appreciation for complex questions. It has been through many articles and discussions in The Evanstonian space that I learned how to answer the question: how do you tell a story? With each article I have written I learned that no two stories are the same, and the beauty of storytelling is in the differences between each one. These lessons in storytelling are ones I am grateful to The Evanstonian for, because it is through this creative space that I have come to appreciate the power of words.
In the past four years, The Evanstonian has taught me how to be a storyteller as well as providing a space where I learned to ask questions. The intellectually thrilling discussions I have had while sitting in Advanced Journalism or at layout remind me why I love learning. It might not seem obvious that a school newspaper would be the place for intellectual curiosity, asking questions without clear answers and having discussions that leave you with a hunger for more, but this is part of the magic The Evanstonian has provided.
The feeling of intellectual hunger, a craving to learn more and ask deeper questions, is one that crops up while writing each and every article. Writing articles for The Evanstonian has enabled me to feed this intellectual hunger by exploring how to answer a question by crafting a story. Although my time with The Evanstonian is coming to a close, the lessons I have learned and experienced will follow me beyond this creative space. The Evanstonian has done more than teach me how to ask questions and write a story, it has taught me the power of the intersection of curiosity and education.
So thank you. Thank you to The Evanstonian for the memories, the curiosity, the education and the lessons that encompass it all.
With love and gratitude,
A storyteller and learner