Columnist shares why she chose to join Arlingtonian and why you should too.
BY GRETA MILLER, ’23. GRAPHICS BY CAROLINE KEGG, ’24 AND MOLLY HENCH, ’22.
In early 2020, I was handed my first issue of Arlingtonian. Sitting in my assigned seat, I waited for my Spanish teacher to start the next lesson, but she handed my classmates and me an issue of Arlingtonian instead. Throughout middle school, I never really thought of myself as a writer. While I liked discussing people’s life experiences, thought-provoking topics and music or pop culture, I never thought of engaging that through writing.
Once I received that issue of Arlingtonian, however, I was immediately excited to open it. I felt like I had been given a window into the high school experience—a time where students find their interests and pieces of who they truly are. Opening that colorful newsmagazine for the first time would end up being a pivotal experience of my high school career.
While reading my first Arlingtonian, I enjoyed seeing all of the contributors with different talents coming together to create a publication for the UAHS student body. I was drawn to the varying topics throughout the publication, none seemed to repeat. I liked that there were names of actual peers attached to the stories, and I liked that they were writing about topics that meant something to them and to the person reading it, whether that was a feature story on a current event in UA or an opinion article about a topic that was close to their values. It all seemed to fit cohesively. As the newbie freshman that I was, I had found something that I knew I wanted to do. I later took that Arlingtonian issue home to show my parents, and I still have that exact issue to this day.
When it was time to schedule classes for my sophomore year, I registered for a semester of Journalism I and another semester of Journalism II because I knew those were the requirements to join Arlingtonian as a writer the following year. Journalism I and II offered valuable information about the history of journalism, journalistic terms, practice with writing and even a few opportunities to be featured on the Arlingtonian website as a Journalism I or II student. One of the articles that I chose to write during my second course of journalism was about music, more specifically “What Makes Great Music?” That article was featured on the website, along with another one of my articles profiling two staff members of UAHS. As a Journalism II student, I was getting a glimpse of what it felt like to be a member of Arlingtonian, and I was excited.
After completing those two prerequisite classes, I enrolled in the Arlingtonian class my junior year. I have now experienced a full semester, and I have really enjoyed it. The Arlingtonian community is welcoming, and there are so many people with so many different talents that range from writing to graphic art, to photography, to business, to multimedia, to sports coverage. I have enjoyed the opportunities to connect with others, specifically fellow students, teachers and ] administrators, through Arlingtonian. As a writer, I am proud to have my name attached to an article that I spent hours researching, organizing and writing. After being part of the day-to-day operations, I now also have a better understanding of the incredibly huge effort required by every staff member to publish and distribute each issue of Arlingtonian. It is truly a team effort, and I really like that.
It was not until after experiencing all of this that I realized how pivotal receiving my first issue of Arlingtonian really was. It led to me experiencing being a part of a supportive, honest and caring team of people for the first time.
Had I not been handed that newsmagazine my freshman year, I know that I would have missed out on enjoyable connections, great learning experiences and unique ways to embrace my interest in writing. I would totally encourage anyone who is drawn to a collaborative, hardworking and inspiring environment to think about joining Arlingtonian as a writer, a graphic artist, a photographer, a multimedia specialist or even a business manager. There really is an opportunity for everyone.