• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Pondering the end: thoughts on moving on

ByCallum Devereux

Dec 6, 2023
A collage of Student newspaper front pages.

With both relief and a certain sense of sadness, this is an ending. The willingness to self-congratulate is tempting, but mercifully is being held off for now. In lieu of anything else, consider this final editorial from me a reflection neither on student journalism, nor the intense ardour of copyediting this wretched publication, but a brief pondering on student life, a tribute to the monotonous grind that seems to summarise everyone’s mood at this semester’s bitter end, and the wonder that can somehow be found within it.

Between the condensation of the Edinburgh windows, and the icy cobbles that surround main campus, we have walked with increasing vigour around what has somehow become our everyday life. Only a moment ago, we were fed and tended to by our beloveds, now the fear of feeding and dressing ourselves suddenly appears existential. This is university, the light dalliance with adulthood and self-discovery that forms what Kurt Vonnegut described as ‘becoming’ to a group of primary school children.

In these moments of reflection, academia becomes peripheral – second fiddle to understanding the new mundanities and minutiae of the everyday. Into this landscape, societies are the void that shapes the direction of our personality – sometimes far more than we’re willing to admit. Often, I have wondered how different things might have been had I joined another society than The Student in my first year. Then, I could so easily have felt the pandemic-enforced urge to conform to personalities outside of what I today can call a comfort zone. Perhaps, in joining The Student and attempting to smile across my laptop camera into a virtual writers meeting, I was accommodating far beyond what I would have done otherwise. Regardless, I am certain I have no regrets.

In our final meetings for writers and editors last week, in giving thanks to everyone present, I expressed my gratitude to everyone not only for their hard work over the semester, but also my thanks for the trust they placed in me. Last year, I was elected to serve as Deputy Editor-in-Chief by a peculiar coalition of departing students, and fresh faces who were sold on the vision I tried to convey, once again virtually, from Uppsala. This semester has been a repaying of that trust – an exceedingly long meet-and greet of the freshest, most hopeful faces of Edinburgh’s student journalism, an unexpected joy that has made The Student so much easier to once again be a part of.

Part of the future that awaits me is the process of letting go – acknowledging that the incoming EIC team will have their own equally wonderful ideas that will, invariably, deviate from the blueprint that myself, Joe, Rachel, and Katie have developed over the last six editions. Given that not even a year abroad could pull me from the throes of this organisation, it will be a challenge but one softened by the safe hands that will clutch the ‘paper from mid-air. I am beyond encouraged by our future.

The Student has become seminal to my own ‘becoming’, an organisation that has shaped my own ideas of a future, a future that eventually may fall beyond campus access to eduroam wifi. But it is not the name or reputation that will linger with me, not remotely as much as the society of friends that has semi-organically evolved from the shared interests in making something cool together, for pursuing our own passions for the written word under the most remarkable of umbrellas. Such feelings won’t dissipate any time soon.

Image courtesy of Callum Devereux

By Callum Devereux

Editor-in-Chief: May-September 2022; Deputy EiC: April 2022, August-December 2023; Opinion Editor: October 2021-May 2022. Contributor since September 2020.