I did not want to work for The Quill, the thought of meeting new people and displaying my writing for everyone to see was terrifying. Almost as terrifying as standing naked in the Kavanagh Courtyard with my arms around that scared looking bobcat statue. Despite all this I was coerced into it by a previous Editor-in-Chief (who also happened to be my best friend). Here I sit, three years later, writing this article and wondering why it is so difficult to say goodbye. So, in my three years with The Quill what did I learn?
1. I learned how to write – better, faster, and more succinct than I could have every hoped during my first year of university. I should burn my first few papers. I cringe a little when I think back on those.
2. Communication and honesty are invaluable – with your Editor-in-Chief, and your professors. If you are struggling go and talk to them. Don’t wait until the day before a paper or article is due.
3. Don’t take advantage of someone’s kindness, and by way of this numbers 4 and 5
4. Deadlines are important – and they are there for a reason. Deadlines are on each syllabus, and the paper is released each week, plan your time accordingly.
5. Do what you say you are going to do – I cannot stress this enough. It is okay to not commit. But to commit and then back out at the last minute is something politicians do, and can damage relationships. Other people are depending on you. This goes back to number 2, open and honest communication, you are helping no one if you commit to writing three articles and turn zero in. Don’t be that asshole or a politician.
6. You get out what you put in – this counts for both writing for The Quill, as well as with your studies.
7. Don’t try to make everyone happy. As soon as we do this, we make everyone unhappy, or worse, indifferent.
7.5. They give you that jar of your blood back– every new Quill employee is required to give three drops of blood which is sealed in a jar. This is collateral, just in case you forget to turn in your articles on time. Luckily they give this back to you at graduation.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 29, April 11th, 2017.