On the outside, college seems like a vital time to develop friendships, to broaden your understanding of the world and most importantly, to get a degree followed by a career.
Once you get past the application process, through your last months at home and actually become a college student, it’s about much more than that. It’s more important how and with whom you take the journey to get your degree. After all, college is a learning institution; it just doesn’t fit into a purely academic mold.
For me, and many others, it was my involvement in organizations that formed my four years in the most influential way. I learned quite a lot in class too, but that didn’t shape my character. The two groups I chose were both important pieces of who I was: a writer and a Christian. So, I chose to further my writing skills through The Rider News and to grow spiritually with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Both increased my understanding of the world I live in.
The Rider News has been a staple of my collegiate experience since day one — well, actually, Monday one. A group of friends and I consistently attended meetings each Monday and that became a gateway to finding my niche in writing. Features and Entertainment was where you’d find most of my articles, not that I haven’t written a news or opinion piece, but that’s what intrigued me. So, check one — developing a writing style. Check two — learning how to interview strangers. It’s actually not as easy, or hard, as a potential writer would think. But preparedness and improvising all come with the trade.
Getting back to the “who” that journeys with you to that glorious, yet terrifying day of graduation. The Rider News family has been integral to molding me as a writer. From working for different editors and seeing the paper change, I learned which readers want changes. Adapting to different stories and different environments has been a task I’ve learned how to work through. I’ve spent Wednesday and Thursday nights in Ridge House for two years with some of the same people, like my roommate, who walked through the door of the newsroom with me way back when, and others who started last week. I can’t count the laughs or the headaches I’ve dealt with, but they were worth it. To the Rider News family — Thank you.
As I developed my career skills and gained friendships, I was taking an alternative journey for my personal growth. My other family that can be found at Rider is InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Understanding who I am and why my beliefs are essential in my life has opened my eyes to many things. It’s my suggestion that you find the group that helps you grow and trains you for what you want to do and who you are within that, but also find somewhere that allows you to build the foundation for the person you are and will be. For me, it was in the fellowship of Christians, and I am so grateful that The River could be an integral part of my walk. Leadership and character were two of the most significant things that organization taught me.
When you’re in college, take hold of whatever defines you. If you aren’t sure what that is, find a group willing to develop with you. Concentrate on your career; concentrate on what you do and with whom. Honestly, think about that day when you’ll look back on college, and make yourself proud. I sincerely hope that your college journey will be as meaningful as mine.
Outgoing copy editor