When I read the first Good News column in February, I immediately knew one of the places where I saw — and still see — good news in my life. It’s something that has been my good news since my first semester at Pepperdine but especially since March 2020: the Graphic.
While I have always loved the Graphic, the past 18 months have made me appreciate it even more.
As many juniors can attest, reintegrating into Pepperdine life after returning from abroad is difficult, and being remote compounds that difficulty. After losing the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in Buenos Aires, the possibility of not having a community to return to at Pepperdine lurked in my mind on the flight home.
Thankfully, once I virtually reunited with the Graphic in the fall 2020 semester, it felt as though I had never left. While some people had graduated, the people I knew made the transition and the beginning of the fully remote semester feel a bit more normal.
Since March 2020, the Graphic has provided me with a community to make the reintegration easier, all the while adding aspects of goodness to my days and weeks.
I see goodness while we are together on Zoom as an organization. Before and after our meetings has become a time for catching up or proposing a random question for us to discuss, as Perspectives Editor AJ Muonagolu frequently does.
Further, there are few things more heartwarming than receiving a private Zoom message or a text from somebody, simply because they want to see how you are doing. I believe this remote time has made the Graphic staff more inclined to initiate conversations with existing and new staff members, not for work, but simply for the sake of building relationships.
I see goodness in the friendships we have built while we have been remote.
Last week, I realized I had not texted Copy Chief Tiffany Hall, with whom I communicate frequently, and I was moved to tell her how weird it felt not to be in contact with her. Despite never meeting in person, our friendship has thrived in a world of Zoom and texts.
Most of all, I see goodness in the new members of our staff.
Seeing the new faces join our Zoom meetings has reminded me of when I joined the Graphic. There is nothing more heartwarming than realizing that those new faces will eventually lead the Graphic.
Even though the news we cover isn’t always good, I see goodness in the Graphic every day. Even though I miss the hustle and bustle in the newsroom, that goodness radiates out of my Zoom screen.
With the shift to some in-person classes and on-campus activities, I hope to continue this appreciation and find more goodness along the way. And, of course, I hope we will eventually get back to that hustling and bustling newsroom.
Follow the Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic
Contact Rowan Toke on Twitter: @RowanToke or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org