Rebecca Gonner, Managing Editor, Signing Off
By: Rebecca Gonner
Time has this annoying habit of constantly moving forward; and though it technically does so at a constant pace, I find the experience of it to be anything but constant. I’m finally finishing my four years at Western and I have no idea how time managed to push me through them so quickly. It feels like just the other day I talked to Dr. Allison after getting my first paper handed back in ENG 201, and she explained to me that it’s okay to have multiple paragraphs dedicated to one concept. I’d handed in a four page paper with multiple page-long paragraphs, high school having taught me to keep each point to one paragraph. I was stunned to hear that this was, in fact, not the case at all.
Now in my final semester with my Bachelors of Arts in English within reach, I like to think I’m no longer that doe-eyed freshman. I’ve learned some things in my time here. Things like there’s no escape from Simpkins 14, so don’t even try. And you never get used to the bathroom stalls. I can effectively present an argument, analyzing literature is practically second nature, and I’ve started to find my voice in my personal writing.
My time at Western has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve received opportunities I know couldn’t have happened at other universities, and I have close relationships with my professors. Working for the Writing Center was such a blessing, I couldn’t have asked for better coworkers or a more supportive environment. I learned so much in my time helping students as a consultant, and I know my own writing practices benefited from the experience.
What I believe impacted me the most in my time at Western is the three years I’ve worked to define, grow, and promote The Mirror & the Lamp. I’ve grown from a sophomore, reluctantly accepting a position of authority I wasn’t sure I was prepared for or deserved, to a senior who feels The Mirror & the Lamp is as much a part of my identity as my major. I was by no means the perfect manager. There are things I know I should’ve handled better. I learned and grew right along with the publication, which was only created the semester before it was handed into my questionably capable hands.
Thankfully, I haven’t had to do it all by myself. I’ve had wonderful staff members supporting me each year and our advising professor Dr. Banash has always been there for any question, comment, or complaint I had.
If I had to share advice for those of you who stay behind from what I’ve learned in my time as a college student, it would be this: take risks and know it’s ok to be in a little over your head. College is a time for learning and growth, and that’s exactly what happens when you take on challenges you don’t feel prepared for. Your professors and peers are here to support you, so take that leadership position, sign up to present at a conference, volunteer to coordinate an event. Should you happen to fail at something or find yourself struggling, then reach out. I promise hands will be waiting to pull you back and lift you up.