Every so often, usually on a Friday, I spend a few hours up in the Seymour Library archives looking through old issues of TKS. I can’t help it — I’m fascinated by the Macintosh advertisements we ran in the early 2000s, and the photos of 20-somethings wearing denim jackets and talking about the Reagan administration. Every time I flip through these old, fading prints (and the archivists glance over me thinking “seriously, her again?”) I’m reminded of the legacy, and the clout that TKS has. And for some reason, this wave of emotion and gratitude washes over me.
Four years ago, I was a meek, impressionable freshman who started working for TKS by contributing meaningless stories about layering and faith mixers. I’m embarrassed to read the stories now, but I remember how excited I was then to see they had been published.
Since then, I’ve (luckily) moved passed the fashion beat and onto stories that have truly changed the way I think and altered the way I see Knox. I’ve spent time with recovering meth addicts, and I’ve looked in depth into the way this school handles sexual assault. I’ve met people who’ve been hurt by this institution, and those who make it run. Working for this newspaper has contributed more to my education than anything I’ve learned in a classroom. I’ve learned to be conscientious, communicative and assiduous. I’ve learned the power of perspective.
Every time I see TKS in print on Thursday night, I feel the same excitement I did as a wide-eyed, naïve freshman. My time here has changed so profoundly, but it’s also the exact same. I’m just as driven to write something that matters and sparks change. I’m just as inspired and motivated by the editors at TKS who share their wisdom, editing and sharp humor with me almost on a daily basis.
Soon, I’ll be graduating, and I’ll bring my Los Angeles parents who’ll be just as culture shocked as they were in September 2012. I’ll take them around Galesburg, to my favorite running routes and to the Pub Office where I’ve worked crazy long hours making the newspaper, and say “look at the person I’ve become in this space where you left me four years ago.” It’ll mean nothing to them — I’m sure this place is the same, and I hear that in adult years, four years is actually nothing — but leaving the newspaper will be a devastating loss for me. I’ll miss it.
To the Knox community: I hope you’ve read something this year that’s changed your perspective and made you feel passionate. I hope you’ve been at a party and, in an attempt to sound sophisticated and well-read, said “Well, I read in The Knox Student…”
Thanks for reading, for challenging me, for changing the way I think and for letting me barge into your offices at inopportune times for a quote.