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  • Shelby Woods

Finding My Place

Elan has always been somewhat of an aspiration for me. The first time I heard about the magazine was at a booster meeting my mom had dragged me along to my freshman year. It had only been a few weeks into school and I was still feeling nervous and unsure of where I’d fit in. Douglas Anderson, though exciting and compelling, was still a place I didn’t feel comfortable with. I wanted to find somewhere I could stand out, or at least something I could strive for. I had an ambitious desire and nowhere to fuel it. When I expressed these feelings to one of my teachers, she told me I belonged on the Elan staff. I was told that if I continued to work hard into my junior year, I’d fit in perfectly with the publication.

As my freshman year went on, I became aware of just how special this magazine was. I purchased one of the print editions at an event and read it cover to cover within a few days. I was amazed at the level of depth my peers were able to reach and how important it was that they were able to be represented in such a professional manner. I continued to devour the books as they came out every year and only felt more pride seeing the names of my friends and eventually myself printed on the pages.

Though classes became harder and my writing life became more of a challenge, the goal of Elan was always on the forefront of my mind. I looked up to the upperclassmen on the staff and tried my best to maintain a solid work ethic. When I was accepted onto the publication this year, I was relieved and terrified. It was the result I’d worked so hard to achieve, but I was immediately skeptical. I wondered if there would actually be a place for me on this staff. The more I learned about the positions and roles, the more I felt like none of them suited me.

When our faculty advisor suggested the role of junior layout and design editor to me, I was surprised. I had no experience with design or the program used to create the magazine. I felt like the most unqualified person for the job. After a week in my position however, my doubt turned into excitement. Learning the obligations of my role, going on creative poster endeavors, and getting to know the finnicky yet endearing software program has been much more enjoyable than I ever could have expected.

This year I hope to learn life skills I wouldn’t be able to without this opportunity. In this class I will be able to put myself into an environment similar to what I will experience as an adult in the workplace. I am looking forward to figuring out what applications my natural aptitudes and talents have in a creative and rigorous atmosphere like Elan.

- Shelby Woods, Junior Layout and Design Editor


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