by Katie Zhao, ’19

Where do I even start? Third period Arlingtonian has been a fixture in my day for what seems like more than two years. Every third period, I’d drop my backpack and slouch into my seat and start typing, ranting about ad sales, browsing Reddit or thinking about art assignments.

I went into Journalism I four years ago thinking I was going to write. That’s what journalism is all about, right? I gradually fell in love with the versatility of graphics, but I still wanted to contribute articles. I’ve learned, however, that I can work on both skills without choosing only one.

Arlingtonian has also shown me the importance of combinations. Whether it’s the perfect mix of graphics and text or a harmonious color palette, balanced blends are the basis of a strong publication. Combinations play to the strengths of all their parts and assuage individual shortcomings.

While I’ve worked in a team for some articles, the class also has taught me the importance of self-directed work. It’s insanely easy to fall down a Wikipedia wormhole (but definitely not something I’d do) and whittle away all your time.

I also scored some nice tips for interviewing and questioning people in general. I’m now able to accept that I won’t be able to always stringently follow a question list, as more relaxed methods create more engaging conversations. And, my typing is now faster than ever, possibly due to necessity. I’m not complaining.

Interestingly enough, I experienced an artistic midlife crisis (or three) during my time on staff. In fact, I went from employing a painterly style to using a cut-out method, then to rounded blobs, then to painterly again—all in the span of two years. In fact, I’m experiencing one such crisis as I write this. I’ll call you when I have it all figured out.

Overall, my time with Arlingtonian has been a twisty, turney journey. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but I just hope I don’t get motion sick.