The Magic of Grease Live! Why Representation Matters: Looking at the Korean Wave through the Asian Diaspora. A Success Story in the Making: Buzzfeed and the Era of Clickbait. How The Princess Diaries was my First Feminist Movie. Looking for Authenticity in K-pop and K-Hip-Hop. Is Music Dying – or is it Thriving? Why Children’s Movies Matter.
This is only a smattering of topics, only a few titles to future blog posts left unwritten. They are left unwritten because this is my last post on this wonderful, amazing blog.
When I first submitted my application to arts,ink, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I had emailed my former-boss and now friend, asking about jobs at the office where Arts at Michigan is housed, the Office of New Student Programs. A friend of mine had told me that she had heard that they were hiring people to work at their front desk and answer phones. As someone who did not want to work in a dining hall (and succeeded in avoiding it all three years here), I took the chance and ran with it.
I got an email back saying there were no office positions open, but I could apply to two blogs – arts,ink and arts[seen]. I applied for both, and even preferred arts[seen], because I loved going to see shows and concerts, and I thought that learning to review them would be a good skill to add to my arsenal before I left college. I had low hopes, though, thinking every writer on campus would be applying for this job. Much to my surprise, I got an email a couple of weeks later welcoming me to the team – to the arts family.
I got hired as a columnist arts,ink, and I wondered how I was going write about something every single week for the rest of the year. I had so much writing to do for my classes already, not to mention the reading and other assignments for classes that weren’t English classes.
But now that I’m leaving, I don’t know where the time went, how I didn’t get to talk about these things that are still so important to me. It seems like just yesterday I was freaking out because Michigan Pops shared my post about their concert, or that I could not believe that I had gotten 5 comments on a post about what I thought was a little-known Chinese singer (the comments doubled to ten as I responded to every one of them).
A lot of people asked me throughout my time at Michigan why I never joined any of the other student publications on campus, as there are many. No one really reads these blogs. My friends and family of course read my posts, but even then, I know they don’t read religiously. When I send them links, they read, and they tell me how much they liked it, but besides that, Arts doesn’t get the readership that other places get. So why didn’t I join any other publications, you ask?
Because none of them felt like home like arts did. Arts encouraged freedom, encouraged discipline, encouraged creativity. I didn’t have to follow a weekly prompt or format. My task was simply to talk about art, in any way possible. And it’s in this freedom that I found my home.
I feel so incredibly blessed that I got to spend three years here. Writing, editing, reading other posts – I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s definitely been a challenge, trying to stay constantly creative while in a college environment that, at times, discourages creativity. And trying to keep up with posting every week while also trying to juggle school and clubs and friendships and families was never easy, especially this year, as a senior preparing to graduate.
But it was all worth it. I’ve become a better writer, a better reader, a better thinker – I’m constantly thinking and analyzing my surroundings, what I see in the media, what others tell me about their experiences.
Maybe there’s been some topics that have been left unexplored. But that’s okay. Because arts,ink will keep going, inducting new writers next year, freshman arriving on campus with wide eyes and ready pens, seniors looking to put their stamp on the arts community before they end their time at Michigan.
So this blog is dedicated to you, future writers at arts,ink. We may be the underdogs, but you have just found a community that will always support you, never limit you, always push you to write more, to constantly engage in the thriving arts community on campus. It may be time for me to leave, but it’s your time to shine.