Earning my B.Sil Working at The Silhouette has been more than just a job

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The Silhouette staff has always jokingly said that working in this office merits you a second degree majoring in The Sil. After having worked here for four years, nothing feels truer.

Every week the staff at The Silhouette churns out another paper. It’s considered small compared to most weekly papers and magazines, but an impressive feat for a student newspaper. We’ve worked unpaid overtime almost every single week that we’ve been here, and often use every moment that isn’t dedicated to schoolwork to edit and write articles, layout pages, shoot photos and videos, and hang onto some semblance of sanity for dear life.

I remember walking into the office in my first-year and sheepishly hovering around the door until someone asked me if I was looking for something.

And I was looking for something. I was looking for my place at this University, and luckily, I found it.

During the four years of my undergrad, I never quite fit into my program. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, and I was desperately in search of a place where I could feel both welcomed and challenged with new tasks.

The Silhouette was that place for me, and during my time here it has been more than an office. I’ve gained valuable life experience, met amazing friends, and have truly felt welcomed at our University.

For those of you reading and empathizing with the struggle to fit into your program, I cannot encourage you to join clubs more. McMaster’s larger faculties may not always provide the best learning environments, but our student body has gone above and beyond to create a system of clubs and services that can cater to all students.

Had it not been for The Silhouette, I may have dropped out of school in my second year, and who knows when I would have mustered up the strength to return.

Over the years I’ve seen four different staffs enter and leave this office. Each cohort has taught me innumerable lessons and inspired me by their work ethic. Whether it was a lesson in fact-checking, writing for a diverse audience, using my stories to send a compelling message, or simply knowing when to give up, I’ve learned more in this basement office than I could ever put to paper.

The Silhouette has been going strong for 86 years, and that is in thanks to the amazing people that have walked through these doors.

I would like to take this time to send a special thanks to the MSU for keeping us around for all these years and standing by our side even though many would like to think print is dead.

A huge thank you to all of my partners in crime over the years — SG, MB and JR — for keeping me sane. A shout of appreciation to our previous staff members and EICs for believing in me enough to keep me around this long.  SC, JW and AT, thanks a million.

And the biggest thank you to our amazing staff and volunteers for making this year memorable and successful.

This is really cheesy, but I’m happy to say I’ve now successfully earned my second degree, a B.Sil, and I can’t wait to witness the cohorts to come next.

 

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Author: Amanda Watkins

Amanda is a graduate of McMaster Humanities, majoring in Multimedia and Communication Studies. She started at The Silhouette as a Lifestyle volunteer in her first year and is now Editor-in-Chief. She humbly acknowledges that she started from the bottom and now is here.