Life doesn’t usually go as planned. Actually, most of the time it ends up being the exact opposite.
I was adopted from Mao Ming City, China at 9 1/2 months old and never met my birth parents. My adoptive dad passed away of stage-four kidney cancer when I was 10 years old. My school closed after I was a sophomore in high school. I certainly did not think any of it could happen to me, but it did.
The last eight months have been no different. I have been a staff writer, co-online editor and now the editor-in-chief during my time at the Oracle. These jobs have stretched me emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually in many unexpected ways.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned being on staff is everyone else has a story just as unique as mine, and the events of the world impact someone in the ORU community.
This is why I took the job. I don’t do this for the title. I don’t do this for the money. I don’t do this to have an office strung with twinkly Christmas lights. I don’t do this because I’m a natural extrovert who is good at conversing with everyone I meet.
I do this because I believe every person who has walked the face of the earth has a story worth telling. I do this because no matter where someone comes from, or what they have been through, there is beauty and inspiration to be found. I do this because I care about the details most might consider pointless facts. I do this because I want to tell the stories students, faculty and staff are affected by.
I do this because this is what I’m called to do. Some people are supposed to be teachers, others nurses and some are meant to be businessmen/women. My purpose in life is to be a journalist who tells the stories people care about, or help them understand why they need to care about something.
I took this job because I have an opportunity to serve this university with some of the best people in the world, a sentiment every editor-in-chief has probably said. They haven’t been wrong.
Everyone on staff stays up late writing articles, designing page layouts, going to games, pulling quotes from audio recordings, editing photos and running to interviews. They are always working to tell the stories affecting you.
They did not write about the Paris attacks last semester just because every other news source in the world did. They wrote about them because it hit close to home for the French students.
They did not spend hours sorting through information on the University of Missouri protests because it was clogging everyone’s newsfeed. They put together a clear timeline of events because it was something many students were passionate about, and others needed to better understand.
They don’t attempt to cover every aspect of sports because it seems like a no-brainer. They do it because there are more than 250 student athletes, and even more sports fans on this campus.
Every writer, editor, designer and photographer works with this university in mind.
My greatest desire is to see this newspaper bring the ORU community together. I want the residents to know the commuters. I want the administration to know the Chick-fil-A employees. I want the athletes to know the theology majors.
While it’s impossible to cover everything our campus cares about and do a feature on all the students and employees of this school, my goal is to jump-start the conversation.
I want the content we produce to serve as an encouragement to find out what matters to those around you and to build deeper relationships with them. We can’t fulfill the Great Commission if we’re not even willing to talk to the person behind us in line at Hava Java or find out a classmate’s favorite childhood memory.
Being one of the youngest editors-in-chief might be a daunting task to some, but it just gives me time to tell as many stories as possible. I’m in this for the long haul. You know my story. Now, let me tell yours.