What Does the Voice Mean to You?

April 4, 2019

One of these other Carrying On’s will say that this magazine is a family. That it has no application. That it welcomes everyone, regardless of experience. These statements are wonderful and true. But this piece won’t go there. This piece will admit that the Voice could be cliquish, and that I sometimes felt like I didn’t completely belong. A lot of that is on me, because I was surrounded by very special people.

Another of these Voices will likely mention purpose, but I don’t love journalism. I like it, and every few weeks a story sparked my passion, but when I graduated and left reporting, I felt relief.

Several of these reflections will recall personal growth. They’ll explain how going through hell makes you stronger, that the late nights are worth it, and that they prove your potential. But I mostly remember my mistakes, the least important of which were in ink. I am deeply proud of my peers and their accomplishments. But my time on the magazine made me more acutely aware of just how little I know, and of how much work I still have to be a better worker and person.

But maybe that’s the magical thing about the Voice. It didn’t require blind faith. It didn’t demand my ritual humiliation or ask me to beg for the approval of someone 14 months older than myself. It didn’t boast to be the greatest thing in my life. I was encouraged to be critical, to admit the club’s imperfections, and people cared to listen. The Voice was neither showy nor proud. It was aware of its faults and driven to fix them. That’s why I’d do it again. That’s why you tolerate the bullshit. Because at the Voice, I was able to think freely. I was able to lower my shield just a little. I didn’t have to pretend to be the big strong man I’m not, nor hide that I get a little lost and a little sad sometimes. I didn’t have to lie that it was perfect. It’s not, and never will be. But I knew the Voice would always question itself as much as anybody else. I think that’s a very good thing.

Alex Boyd (COL ’18) was the Editor-in-Chief in Spring 2018

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