I have written for this paper for three years, now. I am in my fourth year at Trent, and besides my first year of drunken shenanigans, Arthur newspaper has been a stable, if not equal, part of my life. I’ve been interested in writing my whole life. I wrote shitty poetry for most of my elementary school career, got published in a little dinky local creative writing paper, started writing music in high school, and then stopped. I came into Trent with aspirations related to my interests in writing, but never thought I would become a part of a real bonafide local paper.
But then I did. Thanks to Yumna and Zara for giving me that chance. I may sound a bit like a sappy idiot right now to some of you reading this. “It’s only Arthur Newspaper,” you say. “It’s fake news,” the Trent Cons scream.
Coming into Trent, I didn’t really believe I would pursue my creative and writing side. Academically, I was I was set on getting a Psych degree, getting into some counselling or Psych desk job, and maybe writing some poetry on the side, just for pleasure or an outlet to get out my pains.
But second year hit, and I had decided to double-major in CUST [cultural studies] and PSYC, A combination (or maybe even an abomination) of a degree, that was both decently interesting, and pretty unusual. I applied to Arthur in late August before the school year, as that’s when most of the TWSP jobs get posted on the student job board. I actually thought I wouldn’t get the job. I’m pretty sure I went to the interview in track pants, which were probably stained.
I talked myself up pretty hard in the interview though, and made sure to evoke my passions about music, art, and my general (but limited) knowledge of Peterborough’s music scene. I ended up getting the job, and wrote throughout my second year, with a pretty awkward writing voice and a continually revisable approach, and style.
I ended up switching out of psych at the end of my second year, and deciding to make my second major one in English. I hated stats, and I hated the way Psych classes didn’t really give you any hands-on experience, but really made you worry only about correlation coefficients, and all that shit. So I attribute my change in major to that, but I really think my decision to change my major came with the sensibilities, and passion gained through writing for the paper, consistently, on a weekly basis, and attaining growth in the strength of my writing. Looking at some of my first articles — compared to some of my more recent ones — I can see a major shift in my writing voice, and the quality of my writing.
This may seem like a bit of ego-stroking, but I write this really to show the strength of the paper in cultivating a culture of passion, and continual experience. I never felt unwelcome at the paper, while often feeling very apprehensive when doing new assignments out of my comfort zone.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “Wow, he dropped Psych to write and study English.” Yeah, I did. I quit a pretty bankable degree to write and study words. In that way, I may have fucked myself over. Yes, I am going to try to write for a living. And yes, I will probably end up supply teaching English for years, before getting a steady job at a Catholic school or some shit. I am fine with that. It’s better than putting numbers into the R program and thinking that means fuck all.
Basically, what I am getting at is that, being in my fourth year and looking down the barrel at moving back home, I think my time at Arthur is done. I may write the odd piece every now and again, but I will not be a weekly staple at the paper anymore. Arthur was an incredible experience for me, and really helped my evaluate and re-evaluate what the fuck I am doing at this school and with my life. I gained many friends through the process, and blah blah blah, sappy bullshit.
If you can, then write for this paper. It is an incredible experience. Thanks to everyone reading this, and thanks to everyone that has worked with me over the past three years. Thanks Dan and Josh, for making my final year a fun one.
Cheers, I’m out.