The end of the academic year is always surreal.
As students look back on the accomplishments over the last year and summertime is in bloom, we reflect on everything in the hope things make sense.
It’s hard to think we could have imagined everything would turn out the way it did.
Writing should be for the purpose of intellectual growth, but only when we wander through these unpredictable, serendipitous thoughts.
I imagine myself as a scientist and philosopher by training, so working as the opinion co-editor for the Indiana Daily Student has been a perspective vortex moment.
The sheer size and ambition of journalism, at IU and in general, made me feel insignificant and self-doubtful.
My coursework in quantum mechanics or modal logic never involved remaining responsive to society’s current events. Much like the rest of the college experience, I found my fragile world falling apart to reality.
I had to embrace it.
I adapted the skills of a journalist, whether it was the investigative prowess of an experimental researcher or the deliberate rumination of a stoic thinker.
In our effort to expand science communication, including research reporting, hiring science students and presenting science-related issues, we added an exciting dimension to the paper.
Like a meticulous philosopher, I became obsessed with the newspaper’s rhetoric, such as the validity, justification and soundness of our arguments.
As a result, the opinion section has seen a flourishing diversity of thought that has given us nuanced discourses on current issues.
It brought controversies, including concerns of hate speech and conflicts between writers and editors. I made many mistakes along the way as I got caught up with my own ambitions.
But, throughout the challenges, it’s important to remember we can’t predict everything in the future.
Every discussion and issue brings something unexpected, almost like rolling the dice and letting luck decide.
It gives everyone something to take away.
But these benefits wouldn’t have been nearly as effective without the freedom of meandering curiosity at every moment.
By writing in the newspaper, your thoughts become immortalized.
The scribbles in the sand become scratches in stone.
Everything about you is up to merciless scrutiny of others.
Your insecurities, feelings, desires and everything about you as a person manifest themselves.
It makes the job difficult for editors since we have to respect everyone’s responsibilities and rights.
It’s all, again, constantly changing and unpredictable.
But the search for a moral code, a meaning to write, makes it worth it at each point in the process. As I enter my senior year, I look forward to applying to graduate programs in philosophy and neuroscience.
I hope to use a computational approach to understanding the brain while immersing myself in the humanistic tradition of mental phenomena.
I don’t know how each step will work out along the way, but as long as I make the right decision at the right time, the story will write itself.
You have to think about the decisions you make at each moment and trust things will make sense in the end.
I’ve shared much of my personal experience, from my scientific research to getting lost in the ghettos of Detroit.
Stories in a newspaper are very much a conversation between the writer and the reader. Thank you for letting me share my story with you.