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The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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Farewell Column: I found my voice

Farewell+Column%3A+I+found+my+voice

Squeezing into the newsroom with my eyes glued to the ground, my palms sweaty and arms crossed for my first full-staff meeting with The Appalachian two years ago was the start of my most valuable experience at App State. 

I remember being torn about which desk I should join and simply joining opinion because the physical desk was the closest to me and I wanted to draw the least attention to myself. Never did I think I would be running the desk a year later.

As I was finding my footing with writing for the opinion desk, I fell in love with Thursday nights. From the possibility of having a top five story in that week’s analytics to spending over an hour at desk meetings just talking about our opinions, I began to see myself taking on a larger role with The Appalachian.

Joining the Editorial Board helped me find myself in ways I could have never imagined. Not only did I meet some of the most determined and hardworking people at this university, but I saw myself becoming one of them. I viewed the world around me through the lens of someone who could do something about it. If I didn’t write the story, I gladly entrusted it to one of my wonderful writers. 

Knowing that my writers and I could take an opinion we have and amplify it through The Appalachian was empowering. Students trusted me to write about the things they cared about. I heard outrage about the new meal plans last year, so I wrote about it. I heard outrage about the new parking policies, so I wrote about them. I found outrage within myself about more personal topics, and I wrote about them.

Everything the opinion desk has produced is a reflection of me and the trust I have in my writers to write about what brings them passion. Reading and editing their work was always an emotional experience for me. Knowing that writers, who oftentime joined my desk with all the doubt in the world about their writing abilities, trusted me enough to share drafts of their thoughts about topics they care about is a privilege. I applaud their growth every day and cannot wait to see what they do in their futures with The Appalachian and beyond. They are the most passionate group of people I know.

To my fellow Ed Board members, thank you for providing me with community when I didn’t have one. Being a COVID freshman came with many challenges, but the biggest one for me was finding community. Walking into the newsroom my sophomore year gave me community. Walking into the newsroom almost every day this past year, I was met with community no matter who was in there. I cherish all the laughter, and the tears, we have shared in this short amount of time together.

Thank you for giving me a space to just be. Thank you for giving me a space, and a job, where I could just voice every opinion that has ever popped into my head and be applauded for it. I never thought my voice was that important until The Appalachian told me it was.

Now for a Hijabi Hot Take that isn’t a hot take at all: I’ll miss The Appalachian. So much. 

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About the Contributor
Nadine Jallal, Opinion Writer
Nadine Jallal (she/her) is a senior secondary english education major.
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