Three years ago, a stack of newspapers lured me towards what otherwise would have been an average-looking stand. Perhaps, had I not fallen for the trap, a lot of people on the team would have been spared my terrible emails over the past year. My life would have been much less hectic, but it would have also been emptier, and much less satisfying.
Outlook is one of the most emotionally, mentally, and physically draining experiences you could come across as a student at the American University of Beirut, but it is undoubtedly all worth it.
Coming out with an average of 32 pages of Outlook each week, in addition to studying for courses, is no simple task.
A week in Outlook involves editing and writing articles every weekend, avoiding 27 unopened WhatsApp chats, distributing stacks of newspapers across campus, holding 9302 meetings and interviews in the newsroom (which doubles as our home), managing social media accounts, coming up with last minute graphics, and holding events that would ensure dialogue, among other things.
It pushes you out of your comfort zone (shoves you, to be more precise) and introduces you to some wonderful individuals who become your second family and some other (perhaps less friendly) people who become a part of your network of connections. Out of necessity, Outlook provides you with a full set of soft skills (from leadership to public speaking) and technical skills (from writing journalistically to learning Adobe Photoshop and InDesign) that you’ll make use of for the rest of your life. Or not. It really depends on how much effort you put into it, and how passionate you are about it.
I’m thankful for the people who pushed me away from merely writing videogame reviews for the newspaper three years ago, towards exploring other sections and fields of writing.
You might join Outlook thinking it will look good on your CV, only to quickly discover that becoming a member of the Editorial Board is not worth the hassle. You might join for one reason but will choose to remain in it because you’ll discover that Outlook is a family, a family that’s 67 years old.
Like most families, it has its many (many) quirks. Better than some families, you stay in it because there’s more than just blood tying you together. There’s a genuine sense of care. Once you settle down in the newsroom, you will feel what every board member is feeling. There will be good times, and there will be bad times, but friendships throughout.
You’ll stay for these friends, for the engaging discussions in the newsroom, for the feel of the newspaper between your hands knowing that you brought it to life, and for the genuine sense that you’re making a change.
We’ve tried to be fair and accurate in Volume 49 of Outlook. We’ve tried to give the AUB community something valuable to read, and to think about. It is with certainty that I say Volume 50 will attempt to do the same.
Count all the words we’ve written and edited over the past three years for the student newspaper, as many as they may be. We’ve put our sweat, tears, and blood into this publication, but I believe it’s still not equivalent to what we’ve received in return.
Outlook, I can’t thank you enough.