Editor’s Column: Articles of School Years Past

Gaby Bianchi, Multimedia Manager

In preparation for this column, I poured over past articles I have written for the Maroon-News, hoping for inspiration to strike. Sometimes an open prompt is the hardest to fill. At a standstill, I turned to the Maroon-News archives.

As a first semester senior, it feels strange to search my name in the online database, and to peruse through my published articles, each one still poignant in my mind. All of the articles I wrote over the past four years feel interconnected. They weave through the seasons and semesters, sharpening my Colgate experience and creating a concrete timeline.

When I began writing for the Arts and Features section, I never thought I would become a News section editor my junior year, or Multimedia Manager as a senior. I was an eager first-year, happy to write anything I could get my hands on. Attending events simultaneously terrified and thrilled me. I wanted to fully embrace my community, but I wasn’t quite sure how to accomplish that. And so, I wrote.

If you search through my early writing, you can find traces of a lingering nervousness. The majority of my first-year articles quote my best friend, John. My shy demeanor often prevented me from asking two strangers for quotes at the end of each attended event, as is required. John was my rock, my fellow adventurer, ready to explore pockets of campus life that we didn’t know existed.

I remember explaining this process to my dad on one of my first college phone calls home. The advice he gave me still echoes strongly in my head.

“Don’t ever let fear dictate what you will and will not do,” he said. “You can’t let fear stop you.” He gave me similar advice when I first learned to drive. When I was afraid to come to Colgate.

He added in a half-joking manner, “If the average reporter can do this,” he said, pausing for his characteristic dramatic effect, “so can you.”

Because of this advice, I found myself (and still find myself) constantly pushing past my my own boundaries to find my sense of community and to fully experience Colgate. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or intimidated, I remember the frank way that my dad spoke to me.

As I scroll through a list of articles with my byline, each headline takes me back to a specific moment in my life. I still remember each event vividly. I remember how each article helped me grow, helped me gain confidence. Especially those I did not want to write. I would often push aside my homework and drag myself out of the common room, harboring my dread to approach strangers or to tactfully delve into a controversial topic. But these are the events I am most grateful to have covered.

What other first-year could say they spent their first weeks at Colgate dancing at the Palace Theater with the Hamilton community to Indian-African fusion music? Or watched dancers contort their bodies to mimic movements of hatching birds in the contemporary Bird Suite? My friends and I still talk about how much these events impacted us, and how shocked we were to discover them.

In writing for Arts and Features my first year, and News for the next three, I have strengthened my voice. Shaking away my fear of the unknown to the best of my ability, I have embraced my community, both on and off campus.

Not only do I no longer fall back on John for quotes like I did during my first year, but I find myself, more and more with each passing article, seeking different opinions with excitement. I am always ready to listen and to question. I find that this confidence reverberates into other areas of my life as well, both academically and socially.

The Maroon-News not only allows students like myself to fine-tune and share our voices, but also to highlight the amazing work of many professors and students that put on these events which often go unnoticed. I love writing for the paper because I find strength in sharing these voices with the community. I am proud of what we as a student body accomplish, and how we all find our own ways to bind our community together.

Contact Gaby Bianchi at [email protected].