Letter from the Editor: Go out on a limb at WSU

Alana Lackner, Evergreen managing editor

I don’t know how to give advice. 

I’ve never been good at telling other people what they should and should not do, what to do and what not to do. Despite having been here for two years and going on a third, I couldn’t tell you what’s going to make a successful freshman year and what isn’t. Most of the time I still feel like I don’t really know what’s going on or what to do.

I can tell you what I did do though.

I was definitely a bit of an introvert. I spent most of my time in my dorm room, and to be honest, I would’ve spent all of my time in there if I hadn’t signed up for marching band. That definitely forced me to be more social and meet people, so that helped. 

It was stressful sometimes, but it also gave me a support network which was nice, especially since my roommate and I weren’t immediately the closest of friends.

My grades were good, I spent plenty of time studying and doing homework. I pretty much centered everything around schoolwork which was great for my GPA, but honestly not amazing for my mental health. Once marching band ended and spring semester started, I found myself doing nothing but going to class and the dining hall. 

I did manage to get a job a few weeks in, which sort of helped, but it was off campus and it was a daycare job. Spending a couple hours a day with babies doesn’t exactly cure the desire for friends, though it does help the loneliness a bit. Of course, the bit that it does help with really wasn’t worth the diapers, in my opinion, but I digress.

I’ve been a journalism major since I started here and I knew that I wanted to try the Evergreen. My original plan had been to join up at the start of the semester but I didn’t because I was scared they wouldn’t like my writing, my personality or something else. 

But I was starting to slip into a real funk and come March, I was basically fed up. My grades were still good, but I was getting sick from the pure stress of not feeling like I had anything I enjoyed. All work and no play had made me a dull student.

Of course, I wasn’t sure if taking on another job was the answer. Wasn’t that more stress? So I put it off.

Then the Evergreen had an open house.

I was very back and forth about going. I basically had to force myself to walk through the newsroom doors and get a few cookies and an application, but I managed to do it.

The next thing I knew, I was picking up pieces as an opinion writer, and it was stressful … but it was also fun. I had always loved writing and the Evergreen kind of lit that back up for me. I ended up interviewing for a position as a copy editor at the end of that semester and now here I am, over a year and a half later, still in the newsroom as the opinion editor.

I guess if I had to put all of that into a succinct point of advice I’d say join the Evergreen right now, it’s the greatest thing ever and I’m definitely not saying that because I’m always on the lookout for more writers.

Okay, goofs aside, I would say to go out on a limb and try something. It doesn’t have to be the Evergreen — it could be an intramural sport, or hall government — anything that catches your eye and makes you wonder if you should give it a try. Give it a chance. It could be that home away from home everyone says you’ll find at college.

And if it’s not, at least you could spin it as a resume builder.