From contributor to staff writer to women’s columnist to opinion editor, my journey at my university’s independent student newspaper, the Torch, has been a whirlwind. — But definitely, one that has been worth it.
When returning to the St. John’s campus after studying abroad for a semester and taking all online courses from home for another, I knew it was time for me to finally share my voice with the world. I also knew that I was getting a late start since it was already my junior year, which is the real beginning to the end of most college careers. So to make up for lost and wasted time, I decided to dive right into the Torch by dedicating almost half of my time writing weekly articles for the paper.
Between writing articles for the culture section about Nappily Ever After to Brooklyn’s very own Smorgasburg, I quickly rose from contributor to an official staff writer. But as time went on and as I continued writing for the culture section for almost every print issue of the Torch, I began thinking of a way for me to fully involve myself while also developing my true voice as a writer. — It wasn’t obvious up until that point, but I was naturally a women’s writer. Everything I wrote was for women and intended to encourage and empower them in their everyday lives. So it was settled, I was going to convince the Torch to create their first women’s column in history where I would write about many women’s related topics from postpartum depression to the new period emoji.
Within three weeks of pitching the column, it was up and running, and I had officially gone from staff writer to women’s columnist for the opinion section. At that point, I thought I had achieved everything I could’ve achieved at the Torch. I was honored and satisfied to have the opportunity to do something that I loved. Then April came around, and as eboard members prepared for graduation, many section editors were in search of replacements. I remember getting the email for the first time; I felt nervous. I wasn’t 100 percent sure that it was something I wanted to do. I made up excuses and put the application off so far that I found myself racing against the clock even to submit it in time. But it was too late, I didn’t make it in time, and since it felt like it was over, I almost felt relieved. As eboard editor elections passed by, I thought the opportunity to become editor had ended. That was until I received another email saying that all the editor positions had been filled except opinion. The one that I wanted.
I was still nervous, but it felt like fate, almost like they were waiting for me. So I put my nerves aside and decided to go after the position. It was like I had been given a second chance, and I definitely wasn’t going to waste it.
After having an interview with the new editor in chief, I waited to hear back for almost two weeks. I thought all hope had been lost; then, on a Monday night, as I was writing an article for a class, I got an email officially welcoming me as the new opinion editor of the Torch. — I couldn’t believe it; I had started at the bottom and climbed to the top.
Since becoming opinion editor, I have learned different roles involved in journalism. From creating story lists to participating in pitch meetings to designing page layouts to editing other writer’s articles. This position has helped to shape me into a journalist that can do it all, which I believe will give me leverage as I go into the real world.
As I continue my position as opinion editor, I plan to continue expanding my women’s column to other writers who I hope will take over once I graduate. I also plan to fully implement the new health column for the opinion section. Before graduating and retiring as opinion editor, I want to feel confident that the opinion section is the best that it could be, and as of right now, I think I am on the right track.
My Published Articles For The Torch
Below are several articles that I have written for the Torch. To view the article, click on the photo and wait for it to open in a separate browser. You can also go to the left sidebar of the site and click the “Torch Online” tab underneath “The Torch” tab. This will take you to the Torch’s online website in a separate browser where you will find my bio and all of my published articles.