By Song My Hoang
The Concordy seemed like a foreign and far-reaching entity when I first stepped foot onto campus.
My journey to being a News Editor was not easy, considering my inexperience with working for a newspaper and, more evidently, my low self-esteem.
I remember feeling intimidated when I came to Union. I left everything that was familiar to me when I ventured across the world. I was 8,000 miles away from my family in Vietnam and the only interaction I had with them was through a Skype video conversation once a week.
My anxiety to integrate into a new culture quickly replaced my initial excitement to start a new chapter of my life.
I no longer desired to assimilate into American culture after several awkward attempts to fit in the community. I confined myself to an academic career and the small Vietnamese group at Union.
After two years, I felt a sense of loneliness and a lack of purpose to my college life. At this period in my life, the Concordy editors sent out a campus email asking for interested writers. There were various questions that bombarded my mind: Is my writing good enough? Will people judge me? Will the Concordy reject me?
I gathered my courage and quickly requested to write for the News section.
Those previous questions soon faded away. I enjoyed writing for the Concordy to the point that I was writing an article once every week. The risk was worth it.
I had never interviewed anyone before or even written for a newspaper, so I was terrified at the prospect of speaking to someone. However, I learned that everyone I encountered was accepting and excited to have their ideas featured in the paper.
This was one of the most worthwhile opportunities that I partook at Union. The Concordy has allowed me to move out of my comfort zone and appreciate Union’s active campus.
I am continually inspired by the students’ stories and passions. Each new story brings new life into the paper.
I have covered a multitude of eye-opening events, from Union’s contribution to the world’s largest constructed fractal to three computer science students who received a Google grant. After every article, I discover a new facet of the Union community, and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to communicate my experiences to many people.
I am incredibly grateful to be the voice of many clubs and organizations on campus. The Concordy has helped me become part of the Union community. I hope that in my short time as the News Editor, I was able to bridge the student body and express a shared sense of unity.
Thank you everyone for being part of my adventure: the Concordy editorial board, the students, professors and faculty members that I interviewed for my articles, the contributing and staff writers and the readers who, hopefully, continue to extend my appreciation of Union.
I am proud to have made the Concordy my new home. It was fun being part of a quirky, yet intellectual family.
To Heather: I love coming into the Concordy office to see the eccentricities you bring every day. Only you could pull off those funky pants.
To Julia: I am always excited to see you and receive your big hugs.
To Erin: Your sarcastic humor never fails to make me laugh. More importantly, you are so talented and committed to the newspaper. I am excited to see what you and Matt will do next term as Editors-in-Chief.
To Matt: I am lucky to have formed a close friendship with you through our Concordy experiences. You are funny, intelligent and genuinely selfless — indeed, one of a kind! You are going to make an awesome Editor-in-Chief.
I came to Union as a reserved and lost individual. Now, I graduate knowing that the Concordy has added meaning to my time here. I hope that I was able to leave a mark on the college through my writing.
I encourage students not to be satisfied with being comfortable — rather, explore different facets of campus that will add new perspectives to your college life.