By Lexi Meola
Web Editor and Social Media Manager
When I stepped foot onto Washington College’s campus freshman year, I had no plans to be involved with The Elm. I was often told I wasn’t a good writer and should focus on other studies.
We had just gone virtual due to COVID-19 and I wanted to get into journalism. I had just taken a journalism course with Professor Abdur-Rahman. As a political science major, I was not sure where I wanted to go and thought maybe my interest in journalism could go further.
The opinion editor at the time, Emma Campbell, was looking for writers for her section, and I decided to give it a chance. I ended up falling in love with writing, especially when I got to write about politics. Writing for the opinion section for a semester helped solidify where I wanted to go after graduation.
I declared a Journalism, Editing, and Publishing minor shortly after the semester ended. I jumped around with other sections, but stayed writing for opinion.
I enjoyed getting to express my opinion and hear people’s opinions. Do we agree or disagree? Does their opinion impact my outlook on a topic? I got that from writing for The Elm.
Now here I am, still writing for the opinion section but as the web and social media editor.
I think everyone getting to write an article can benefit them and help open their eyes and find what they are passionate about.
Seeing your name in the byline and having your piece published brings a sense of accomplishment that cannot be matched. My biggest supporter was my grandfather who passed away in Dec., but I always loved sending him my articles and he was always so proud of me. He supported me through everything I decided to do on campus but especially loved how passionate I was writing for The Elm.
I have a lot of jobs and am involved in a lot here on campus from greek life to admissions to musical theatre. One thing that has always been consistent is writing for The Elm.
When I took the position of web and social media editor, I stopped writing for a little bit and I got an internship at the National Press Club in D.C. There I was writing op-eds just like for The Elm, but to be published in nationwide newspapers.
However, as my internship wound down and I finished my SCE presentation, I was feeling out of place because all of my responsibilities were over. I reached back out and started right where I began, writing for the opinion section one last time.
I want to thank my first editor Emma Campbell for getting me started on this pathway of journalism. I also want to thank Emma Reilly who was my editor last year and encouraged me to apply for the position I have today. Thank you to Riley Dauber for letting me write for the opinion section again this semester. I am so thankful to my parents for always reading my pieces and to all my friends who have supported me through college.
As someone aspiring to become a political journalist, I cannot begin to stress the importance of supporting journalism in the world and here on campus. Student voices are so important to the well-being of the campus, I cannot wait to continue to read The Elm. I hope Washington College commits to empowering student voices and allowing their concerns to be heard through The Elm.
Photo courtesy of Lexi Meola.
Photo Caption: Graduating senior Lexi Meola wrote for the Opinion section before taking on the role of web editor and social media manager.