After approximately 240 hours spent on deadline nights, 50 guest opinion writers and 20 “Just the Clax” columns, this is the last print edition of The Bison newspaper for the 2018-19 school year.
As we move into dead week, formal season and the ever-dreaded final exams, I can’t help but reflect on what a year it’s been for Harding and the community we share.
As a community, we celebrated. We cheered on our volleyball team as they made it farther than ever before in school and conference history. We laughed, cried and gasped during a wonderful Homecoming production of “Big Fish,” particularly as that single daffodil petal floated down from the rafters. We lost our minds when Searcy was chosen to be on season four of “Small Business Revolution.”
As a community, we adjusted. We worked to find balance in the first year without club Visitation Week. We adapted to the first new social club since 2013. We welcomed more friends into our homes with the addition of more open-dorm dates.
As a community, we also grieved. We mourned with brothers and sisters worldwide after the killing of Botham Jean. We cried out together as we remembered the jubilant life of Mary Joy Uebelein. Many of us also suffered losses within our own families.
It has been a long year for the community of mission we call home.
As we experienced things collectively as a community, we all traversed our own personal paths as well. When I joined The Bison staff as opinions editor in August, I had no idea how much I would learn in the span of nine months (or how many hours I would spend in the Student Publications office).
This year, I’ve felt joy, pride and contentment through my work with The Bison. Honestly, I’ve also experienced frustration, fatigue and major writer’s block (as I’m sure is evident to all three of my readers). As I reflect on my year in this role, however, I can’t believe how thankful I am that I turned in an application at the last minute on a spur-of-the-moment decision. I probably would have gotten a lot more sleep had I not joined staff, but I would have missed out on what has quickly become one of my favorite parts of college.
There were times this year when I felt like I was drowning in this role. In the beginning, I questioned why I ever got in the water in the first place; I was obviously not prepared for it. I asked other staff members innumerable questions and felt completely incompetent at times. I didn’t know how to stay afloat.
Slowly and surely, however, I learned. Eventually, I was able to get my head above water, and eventually I was able to keep it there.
It was a long process, but I now feel confident in my ability to tread water. In the span of a year, I went from drowning to treading water, as I’m sure many of you did, too. I’m proud of that. We all should be. Treading water may not seem that impressive, but it’s a whole lot better than the alternative.
Thank you for bearing with me as I figured out how to tread water. I’m looking forward to what will come next: learning to swim.