What if I had done it differently? This is the question many graduating seniors are asking themselves. I fluctuate between thinking I’ve really maximized my Emory experience and feeling like I did not take enough advantage of the opportunities I was afforded. There are so many classes I wish I took, so many events I wish I went to. I should have seen more plays, gone to more exhibits in the Carlos Museum, participated more at Wonderful Wednesday and First Friday and even gone to more sports games (I did see one basketball game). But there were also a lot of things I did get to do. I loved many of my classes, I got to be a part of WMRE and edit their music and culture magazine, I got to work at the Green Bean with amazing people for three years, I got to produce a play with Theater Emory, I got to study theater in Oxford and Tibetan Buddhism with monks in Dharamsala. And perhaps most incredibly, I got to be a part of The Emory Wheel. The Wheel has defined my Emory career. I can’t imagine what college would have been like without it. I don’t think I would have found any other group of people on campus who consistently take multiple perspectives into account on every issue and conduct themselves in a spirit of open-minded inquiry. I truly believe that everyone that joins the Wheel and sticks with it embodies some of the best and the brightest minds at Emory. I know I’m biased, but where else do you find a group of college students so invested in the University, the politics, the history, the administrators, the arts, the culture, other student groups and even Emory sports. Almost four years ago, I was sitting in my freshman dorm room in Dobbs when I got an email from Evan Mah, who at the time I had only known as my mysterious Wheel correspondent who viciously edited my articles. Little did I know how important Evan would become in my life. The email said, “If you would like to be more involved at the Wheel, keep writing … Here are your edits.” At first I smiled and then I saw his edits. In November of my freshman year, I was asked to join the Wheel as Asst. Arts & Living Editor. I assumed I would be assistant editor until Evan graduated and then maybe by senior year I would be editor of the section, while still having plenty of time for an array of other extracurricular activities. I was woefully unaware that the better part of the next four years would be spent on the fifth floor of the DUC, arguing about headlines, cutlines, oxford commas, stacked columns and of course making ethical judgment calls. The Wheel tends to attract a diverse array of students. The paper provides an expressive outlet in the form of hard news, more creative feature pieces, humor articles and even our horoscopes. There is a place for the audiophile, the dance enthusiast, the opinionated and the sporty. We require people with knowledge of WordPress and social media campaigns, photography and copy-editing. On the business end, we need sales associates, managers and ad designers. There’s a place for every interest. The catch? We all have to come together and collaborate to create this 12 page work of art, not once, but twice a week. This means constant interfacing and working with someone who you’ve never taken a class with and probably never will. This means spending long hours in a small room with people who have completely separate social circles than you. The Wheel provides a unique opportunity for very different yet equally motivated and intellectually engaged students to work side by side to create something that is meaningful and something that serves our community in an incomparable way. Maybe I could have done things differently. But I’m so glad I didn’t. Arianna Skibell is from Atlanta, Ga. She is graduating with a BA in Psychology and Linguistics.
About The Author
The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions. The Wheel is financially and editorially independent from the University. All of its content is generated by the Wheel’s more than 100 student staff members and contributing writers, and its printing costs are covered by profits from self-generated advertising sales.
April 25, 2020