It’s funny the things we remember. The smallest thought, sight or sound can be printed in our minds like a photograph.
I remember the tears in my mother’s eyes as she waved me goodbye. She followed us all the way down the long driveway still waving, not wanting to see her baby boy leave for college.
I remember the uncertainty I felt as we unpacked the car and moved my belongings into the residence hall.
I can still see the way the moonlight slipped through the blinds my first night in Smith 103. The blurs in my eyes seemed to scatter the light across the room.
That night I wished in my heart to be elsewhere, to be anywhere except Bob Jones University.
I’d be lying if I said I was the first student to wish not to be at BJU. How many of us have dreamed of “elsewhere”?
Even now, I can imagine the faces of my friends who have left to find their elsewhere, truly believing that being away from dress codes and curfews and unusual rules would solve their problems.
Were they surprised to find their problems transferred with them? A wise member of the theatre arts faculty once told me, “Elsewhere is nowhere: it doesn’t exist.”
“Own It”—that’s been the theme for the freshman class each year I’ve been at BJU. And the longer I’m here, the more I understand how appropriate that theme is.
I think college is one of the easiest times to be disengaged. It’s a transitionary period by its very nature. Growing roots at a place you’ll be for roughly four years doesn’t always seem that practical.
But still I think establishing those ties is an essential part of the education here. For me those roots grew out of working for The Collegian. Looking back, I can’t imagine college without them.
I applied to write for The Collegian on a whim, not really thinking I’d be accepted. I was an English major who wanted more experience writing but what I got changed my life.
Little did I know that the editor who interviewed me, Abby Sivyer, would become one of my closest friends or that my time on staff would become the most important part of my college experience.
I’ve learned more from working for the paper than from any of my classes, and I’ve learned more from my classes because of the experience I’ve gained working for The Collegian.
When I remember my four years of college, I’ll remember my time on staff and the relationships I’ve made.
I’ll remember the pride I felt as editor when I saw my first issue in print.
I’ll remember the collective sigh of relief we gave each week when we finally sent Friday’s paper to the print shop—late as always.
I’ll remember Abby, Melody, Jacob, Luke, Stephen and Rebecca and what a privilege it was to spend this season of our lives together.
After working for The Collegian so long, each issue becomes your friend. It’s hard to say goodbye.
—Ian Dyke, editor
Meeting with the former layout editor the first Saturday of my sophomore year, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. We talked for a few hours and she showed me how to do the mechanics of my job.
I thought I understood the process and was eager to get real-life experience producing a newspaper that would reach thousands of readers each week.
What that meeting didn’t prepare me for was the invaluable friendships I have made and the life-changing experiences I have undergone.
Without a doubt, these last two years have been the most revolutionary years of my life. Like Ian reflected, I’ve grown roots here, made this place my home, have been tested by many different trials and have bonded with people I hope to spend the rest of my career growing with.
Knowing both Ian and Abby Sivyer, our former editor, and having them become some of my best friends has been one of the biggest blessings of my college career.
Just as I cannot begin to measure the effect that these past two years as layout and design editor have had on me, I cannot begin to express how honored and excited I am to take the position of editor this coming semester. The daunting role seems like an overwhelming task at this point, even with two years of experience seeing all that goes into creating a weekly issue.
While the amount of responsibility this opportunity carries weighs on my shoulders more and more, I see many thrilling possibilities to influence people for the positive and help give our student body a voice.
To me, The Collegian is not just a weekly student-run newspaper. It is source of education and training for students that has been regularly in production for over thirty years.
It is a source of joy, inspiration, opportunity and occasionally, frustration. It is a place where students like me can gain authentic experience that remains with them for the rest of their lives and impacts their careers.
This coming semester, I hope to continue in the footsteps of my predecessors and further the goal of making this newspaper a voice in the community as well as a publication that students, graduates and the entire University family will find value in each week.
— Jacob Clipperton