When I first started to write for the Grind, almost a quarter ago, I did not anticipate how my relationship with readers would change. As a news writer by training, the only emails I had gotten prior to the Grind dealt with changing small factual errors in articles. They were the type of emails that would warrant a grateful response and a quick edit.
That all changed when I joined the Grind. Take my second Grind article for example. After writing a classic listicle on things I’ve learned while partying, I received an email invitation to a party at La Maison Française. Intrigued, I was tempted to attend, but alas, frosh-year-me thought he knew better than to go to a party with strangers.
I would learn later, however, to have more faith in my readers. After writing a wholesome article about rejection after I was not hired as a campus tour guide, my readers came to the rescue and emailed me requesting unofficial tours, and an era was born.
My readers — a.k.a you — have also been a source of comfort during my Stanford career. After writing about how I struggled in MATH 51, many faithful readers of the Grind validated my feelings and emailed me in agreement. An alum even emailed to tell me how they also disliked the course back when they attended Stanford. When I wrote an ode to the marching band, past band members emailed me to express how happy they were that the spirit of the band lived on.
Many of my readers have also kept me on my toes (literally). The Grind has prominently featured my feet. When I wrote about walking barefoot on campus during the spring, three of you emailed me about your barefoot adventures, and some of you even included pictures. It’s given me great joy to put faces to names.
Others have emailed me concerning some of my hot takes. My article ranking restrooms on campus, for instance, generated a lot more emails than I expected, and when I described some of the most common characters on Meyer Green, some of you emailed me to tell me I missed a few other stereotypical Stanford students.
Many of you have also emailed me about some of my more reflective pieces, sharing some of your experiences at Stanford in the process. I’ve always appreciated the words of encouragement and validations that my readers have sent.
I write now, keeping you all in consideration. To those whose faces I have seen, and to those whose names are favorites in my inbox, simply know that I see you, and I read your emails too. Please, know that I indeed appreciate you.
Contact Richard Coca at richcoca ‘at’ stanford.edu.