I love being the Assistant Editor for the Life Section of the Technique.
Don’t worry — this is not an advertisement to convince you to write for the Technique (although you should). I love working for the Life Section because it allows me to get to know people around campus that I normally wouldn’t have met. Quotes are the basis of journalism; finding individuals to interview for an article is one of the most common ways journalists discover information to write.
Because of this, whenever I write an article, I often have to find several individuals to interview. During my time at the Technique, I have talked to students about their experiences with campus traditions, involvement with clubs and even more personal topics such as religion.
Whenever you sit down to talk to someone about a subject they are passionate about, you not only learn a lot about that topic, but you also learn a lot about that individual.
Talking to people on a one-to-one basis opens the door to a conversation that builds connections and understanding.
During the hustle and bustle of a day of classes during the semester at Tech, it’s sometimes difficult to think about students and faculty members as other individuals with needs and desires just like you.
As terrible as it sounds, it’s often too easy to think about others as just an object that adds to your wait for coffee at Blue Donkey or takes the last good study room in the library or messes up the grading curve for your class.
But sitting down to interview someone is an easy reminder that everyone at Tech has their own passions, struggles, goals, stories and hopes.
In this way, working for the Life Section kind of humanizes campus.
When I hear about a clubs’ initiative, I think about the students behind the club and what motivated them to try something new.
When I hear about a new study abroad program to Spain, I think about the professor who is leading the program and why they wanted to create that specific experience for their students.
Because of my time interviewing others for the Technique, I have been able to build stronger relationships with former professors and acquaintances, learn more about the stories of my classmates and even experience other facets of Tech I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to.
All of these opportunities have taught me that Tech is full of life: students who are innovative and supportive of others (not just someone who took the last ticket for the volleyball game) as well as professors who are passionate about learning and student development (not just someone who assigns too much homework).
Not everyone has to be a writer for the Life Section or conduct formal interviews to see differing sides of campus – all it takes is opening up a simple conversation with someone else.
It can be easy to feel lonely or disconnected on Tech’s campus (especially during the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic when social distancing and mask wearing has often made it difficult to socialize and make new friends).
However, starting conversations with those around you is the one of the best ways to learn about life on campus and build deeper connections with others.
Even a simple greeting or small interaction can help avoid neighbors feeling like strangers.
The key is taking the initiative to reach out and say hello (or maybe joining the Technique).