Full circle endings

Kaitlin Ryan, Arts & Life Editor

This week in Kaitlin’s Column, Kaitlin talks about her college career drawing to a close and how The Carroll News has been a constant throughout her experience. (Kaitlin Ryan)

Endings are inherently sad. Even when you are ready for a particular era to end, it is still bittersweet to watch it come to a close. 

I will be graduating at the end of the Fall 2021 semester, so I am reaching the beginning of the end of my college experience. Part of me still feels like these four years just began; I keep hoping the novelty of it all will reappear. 

The awareness that my college experience will soon conclude forces me to consider it in its entirety –– as a timeline almost. Considering how far I have come, this ending is a full circle one

And good for me, I love a full circle ending.

In high school, I never really played sports — aside from my cheerleading experience — or shined on stage in musicals. At the time, it bothered me that I was not involved in my school. I felt like an outcast. 

I always had a passion for writing, so I joined my high school’s newspaper to feel like I belonged to some sort of community. I fell in love with the environment: black coffee, slap-happy side-tracked conversations, editing each other’s work. 

When I attended John Carroll’s Blue Streak Preview Day my senior year of high school, I knew I had to visit the newsroom. As I scanned the walls with Tim Russert’s picture and old issues of the paper, writing for The Carroll News became my top priority. I looked forward to it, boasting to my high school newspaper class about how I could write immediately. 

Kaitlin Ryan captures her first published article from a Fall 2018 issue. Her first piece was a spread on the practice of self-care. (Kaitlin Ryan).

And I did, in fact, write right away. I wrote my first article about self-care and practically leaped up and down when I saw it in print that Thursday morning. 

Every week, I would grab several copies of the paper, cut out my articles and tape them — sorry, ResLife —  to my Campion dorm room wall. I became so passionate about The Carroll News and I fell in love with the art of curiosity and storytelling.

As I moved up in the ranks, as social media editor and then Arts & Life assistant, I kept pondering the idea of becoming a section editor. From the first meeting I ever attended, I looked up to the editors and wondered if I would ever have the confidence to pitch stories, stay up late Tuesday nights and interview subjects. 

From the nervously cross-legged freshman to a soon-to-be senior, I am excited to be the new Arts & Life editor for the Fall 2021 semester. 

The Carroll News has been a consistent element of my college experience. I look forward to ending my nights in the newsroom where my passion for journalistic writing and editing first began.

Full circle endings are quite beautiful. They allow us to see how far we have come and how we are always, in a way, still the same bright-eyed curious kid as when we started.