When I sat down to come up with this week’s column topic, I came to a realization: this was going to be my last column. Volume 241 of The Stanford Daily was coming to an end, and I had one last chance to put something out there before my weekly revelations came to an end. After today, a round of columnist applications stands between me and another volume’s worth of my weekly thoughts (brought to you in neat little 650-800 word packages).
As I tried to come up with the most profound (and cheesiest) ending I could possibly come up with, I realized that I did have one piece of advice left that I wanted to shout from the rooftops, something I wanted to say to every single student on Stanford’s campus:
You should write a column.
Yes, that’s right, I’m talking to you. Granted, I’m also talking to your best friend, your roommate, your lab partner and your significant other, but you fall into that category as well. You, who are currently reading this column, should pick up a piece of paper, a notebook, a laptop or an iPad (whatever floats your boat) and start to draft your very own version of a weekly opinions column. After you finish reading this one, of course.
Now, before you roll your eyes and think, “Yeah, right,” hear me out.
This column you’re reading is my 15th column for The Daily. That means that over the course of the last five months, 15 of the many random thoughts in my head have stopped cluttering my already busy mind. Having a column has forced me to extract one of those thoughts each week and put it down in writing, and not in an unintelligible manner that only makes sense to me, but in an actual, logical format that makes sense to other people when they read it.
Not only has my column helped me clear my mind, but having a column has provided me with a platform to interact with many new members of the Stanford community. Writing a column for The Daily has allowed me put my face, opinions and email out there every week, and every week has brought me new interactions with Stanford students and alumni alike. The positive emails that I have received have been helpful, the constructive criticism even better and the anonymous negative comments have simply fueled my desire to make each and every column worth reading.
Now, this “column phenomenon,” as I have decided to name it, isn’t limited to just me. Just ask any of the columnists from this volume or volumes past, and I’m sure they’d all agree: writing a column is a surprisingly cathartic experience.
So do yourself a favor and write a column. I promise you, the first time you see your column in print, you’re going to be overcome with a sense of joy and accomplishment that’s unlike any other, and putting something that’s on your mind out there every week will help lead you to great discussions, whether it’s via responding to an email from a reader or talking to your best friends to try to come up with your next topic.
I can’t make any promises for anyone else, but I can guarantee you that you’ll have at least one faithful reader in me (as long as you have a punny title)!
Has Ravali convinced you to become a columnist for Volume 242? Send her an email at ravreddy “at” stanford “dot” edu and she’ll tell you how to apply!