It’s hard to believe that my time as a part of Elan is coming to an end. For the past two years my experience on this staff has built so much of who I am today. Freshman year, before I even really knew what Elan was, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it one day. For two years now, I’ve made so many memories and learned skills that I’ll not only take with me after graduation, but also that I’ll cherish forever.
When I first joined the staff, I had no idea all of the incredible opportunities I’d be introduced to. I didn’t know all the wonderful events I’d be a part of. Listening to the seniors talk about their roles and the things they’d been a part of the previous year, I was struck with wonder. For so long I’d felt like I didn’t play a big enough role in the creative writing department and this was how I could change it; by becoming involved, taking advantage of the opportunities that come with being on the staff. At the time, I wasn’t sure what position I’d take on, I didn’t think it’d be something serious at all. When I took on the role of Submissions Editor, I had no clue what it would lead into, that I’d become Managing Editor this year. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, though, because this position has been one of growth and maturity for me.
I was quiet, invisible almost, for the first years of high school. Joining Elan and taking on those responsibilities was the push I needed to finally open myself up some (now, some of my teachers wish I would stop talking). Being a part of a team pushes you, required a constant input. This year more than anything, I had to step out of my comfort zone to make sure things were getting done when they were needed. I was afraid of making my classmates think I was being controlling that I didn’t really want to do it, but I had to step past that fear and find a way to ask for things within deadline without being demanding. But also, without being soft. In that way, Elan has pushed me in growth.
One of my greatest memories of Elan is last year, once the seniors had gone, and it was just the four juniors with Mrs. Melanson. Having that first chance to open the print book and think, wow, my staff created this. My friends wrote these pieces. This art. In that moment, I stepped back and thought of the voice this book has in the world. Because even though our reach is still growing, we are mighty. And our words have power. That’s when I realized, too, how much my own writing matters. Because even though it hadn’t been published, that book was proof that words and feelings matter. So do my own.
There are so many things Elan has showed me. So many endless memories from the stress of planning homecoming to last year’s excitement of new submissions and web updates. This staff has changed me in ways I’d never imagined possible. Beautiful, crazy ways.
– Kinley Dozier, Senior Managing Editor