I always hear from people much older than myself that there’s a difference between young-people time and old-people time. “Where did the last decade go?” I hear things like that a lot from my grandparents.
I’ve only been alive for two decades, so it’s not like time flies out the window before I can grab it at this point in my life. A year still feels like a healthy chunk of time. But it also feels like I never stopped working at the Herald. It was a century since I worked here last, but it was also just a day. I’ll be writing columns for at least the next eight weeks. Bear with me.
I have been the editor-in-chief of my school’s newspaper, The Tartan, at Gordon College over the past school year. In that time, my team and I changed the format of The Tartan from a traditional newspaper to a newsprint, full-color magazine; in many ways we turned the kind of content we publish upside down. And it was a massive success.
There have been several painful instances where tensions were high between The Tartan and the school’s administration this past year. One of my co-workers snuck into a faculty meeting where sensitive information about budget cuts was released; it came as no surprise that the administration was not happy when we published quotes from that meeting. Maybe that means we’re doing our jobs properly.
We covered some “juicy” stuff and broke some big news; it was really exciting to write about things that feel important and that people care about strongly. But it was also painful to see the ways that breaking news can hurt others.
I had to wrestle with questions like: what are my true motivations for publishing these articles, many of which contain leaked or sensitive information? Who am I helping, and who am I hurting by writing? I love my school, so it was wrenching to write or publish negative news and opinions about drastic budget cuts or a leadership style that many call into question. It is never my intention to publish something “juicy” for the sake of clicks or gossip. I want to spread goodness and truth as a writer, but sometimes the lines are blurry.
School is very difficult; I’m incredibly blessed, but life, even one in middle-class America, is still very challenging. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my beliefs, and my goals this past year through both joyful and gut-wrenching times. I wrote last year that it's unfair to criticize college students for having ‘dumb’ or counter-cultural beliefs; this is the time of life where nearly everything should be questioned and examined with a keen eye.
I’ve had to wrestle with difficult questions: what do Christians mean when they say non-believers are damned? Do I believe in such a God? What does it mean to do good in this world? How am I to live out my faith? What does faith even look like? I hope to pursue the answers to these questions every day; I’m blessed to go to a school with peers and professors who encourage dialogue and exploration around life’s most central questions and themes. I have a feeling that I’ll be seeking those truths my entire life; the pursuit of truth never stops.
Life has been a whirlwind, and I’m happy to be back in my hometown for the summer. Cape May County is a special place, and it’s fun to tell friends and professors that I’m from here. I hope my columns this summer can be of some small value to the community.
Time crawls by like slow molasses, but I know one day I’ll be the crazy one talking about decades traveling at the speed of light. I’m doing my best to grab time by the horns before then. “Young-people-time” can’t last forever.
Collin Hall is the grandson of the Herald publisher and the editor of The Tartan, Gordon College.