Despite just being one fish — a writer and Arts & Entertainment Senior Associate — in the grand scope of The Cavalier Daily, I cannot help but feel as if this newspaper has contributed so much to my University experience. No one enters and leaves college as the same person — it is normal to have gone through many groups of friends, different majors, new career aspirations and most of all, conflicting ideals on the kind of person one wants to be. That was certainly the case for me, at least.
With a lack of object permanence in the chaotic three years I spent as a college student, I have found calm in the storm through a passion for creativity that has continuously been fueled by The Cavalier Daily. I find creativity to be fickle, and under the stress of homework assignments, exams and thinking about financial stability and life beyond graduation, my love for writing, art and journalism as a whole could have easily fizzled out.
There were often times when I questioned whether I belonged at the University — whether my own world of stories, cultural references, film and music was worth sharing with others and if anyone would even care. I asked myself the question, “Am I even enough for the things I want to achieve?” many times across my college experience. I wondered if the arts were something I would be able to pursue or whether passion alone was a reason to do so. It somehow always felt as if I was falling behind because I wanted to do something so badly and yet was too afraid to. I never really felt certain that I had a place in the midst of such creative and brilliant peers.
Making it this far, able to graduate in three years and walk across the stage in a cap and gown as a more confident person, has only been made possible by a refusal to say no to new opportunities. Consistently pushing myself to string together new words to form more compelling sentences, to be excited rather than nervous to delve into uncharted territory and to think deeper to form more elaborate analysis has made myself more self-assured in my expressive and artistic abilities.
The ability to have a platform with an audience feels rare and special, especially as a wide-eyed college student with aspirations that feel far-fetched. Through The Cavalier Daily, not only was I provided with a creative outlet that supported my maturity as a writer, artist and dreamer, but I was also given a community of like-minded journalists to look up to, discuss new ideas with and learn many priceless lessons from.
Writing for the newspaper has been the only common thread throughout the entirety of my time at the University, and my personal growth feels characterized by the achievements I have collected — from articles written to conversations with fellow staffers over the years. While I still have the opportunity to use The Cavalier Daily as a chalkboard for my thoughts, I want to say to those reading who are similar in enthusiasm for the arts and have such resources available to them to take full advantage of what college can offer. There will always be a place for passion.
The world becomes increasingly competitive, judgemental and dismal as one gets older, and I cannot express the importance of creativity during this time. Being true to oneself is the most important advice I can provide — being able to put thoughts into words and explore new topics to expand opinions and knowledge builds on that self-sustenance. Thank you to The Cavalier Daily for helping me realize that. I will forever be grateful for my time with you.
Jamie Jeong was a News writer for the 132nd and 133rd terms, Arts & Entertainment writer for the 132nd, 133rd and 134th terms, and Arts & Entertainment Senior Associate for the 134th term of The Cavalier Daily.