Graditude

As an underclassman creative writer, my knowledge of Élan was very limited. Not because I wasn’t interested, or that the publication was doing a poor job advertising, but rather, it’s hard to understand anything about the magazine until you’ve really experienced it. (I say that like I’ve been through the publication process already… it’s mid-September and I’m just learning where to put the submission folders.)

But, honestly, if someone tried to explain the responsibility and time that Élan requires, or the overall professionalism and sincerity in which everything is planned and executed, I don’t think I would’ve really understood. And even one month into school, I can see how life-changing this group of people, this class, this publication…this slice of my life will be.

Writing is obviously something I am passionate about. The magazine’s collaborative efforts with visual arts is also something I love. From a distance, I guess anyone that appreciates art would love to join our staff. But the thing that drew me in specifically was, as cliché as it sounds, the mission. I remember reading it over and over sophomore year: “to elevate and celebrate teen writers and artists.” Elevate is different from showcase. To give a part of yourself to this magazine as a means of heightening others. And I love this concept of teamwork, as well as the effort we put in all year turning into something I can keep on my bookshelf forever.

As junior editor-in-chief, I’m very excited to work under Lexey (senior editor-in-chief) and learn all that I possibly can. I’m excited about making a calendar and getting organized for this school year, getting the Fall online edition up and rolling, and generally taking on leadership responsibilities…being pushed out of my comfort zone. I feel like Élan will help me develop an entirely new set of communication skills. Over the next two years, this class will give me opportunities to engage within a publication like any other. It’ll honestly be like my dream job in my “adult world” in the years to come, only I get to trial-run within our DA community.

Poetry is something I will never stop talking about. And way before reading the mission statement—way before knowing what Élan was—poetry has been my main (if not, singular) inspiration for attending Douglas Anderson. To be on a magazine with such beautiful and vulnerable pieces, made by students, comes with a sort of gratefulness I can’t express in words. Reading any edition of Élan inspires me beyond belief.

I know when I am fifty years old, no matter what my life has amounted to, I will remember this publication like family. I will learn, I will help others, and I will appreciate writing more than ever before.

Olivia Meiller, Junior Editor in Chief