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The Gateway is a student magazine from the University of Alberta’s Student Journalism Society. It comes out with a monthly magazine consisting of a variety of articles from humour pieces to advice articles, such as Big Brain Plays. This range of topics makes it not only interesting, but engaging, leading the reader through page after page. While one could say that the Gateway is a waste of student time and resources, this paper will argue against that.
A campus newspaper is significant not only as a place to go for advice and unanswered questions, but also as a distraction from the stress of university, if only for a few minutes. Self-taught is an article that focuses on providing the experience of Soyoung Yu and her semester off for students to empathize with. Yu took the winter semester of 2018 off to focus on “ comfortable with uncertainty and expressing my emotions, [with getting] to know myself better and be okay with who I am.” She talks of her self-discovery and of leaving for Korea, initially planning a three week vacation and instead staying for three months. She decided to work at an international school and while there, received a brilliant piece of advice; “[My fellow teacher] told me that I need to value myself more, not the responsibilities that I had taken on or were given to me…”
This piece of advice is a crucial bit for prospective new students who have not yet found a balance between taking care of themselves and taking care of their work in university. It provides a comfort, an idea that the students that feel lost and scared in their lives are not alone; that there is someone else going through the same experience they are. Had The Gateway not been in publication, Yu and her experience would not be widely available for students across the University of Alberta’s campus to see and recognize that they are not completely alone.
Another article that stood out was Andrew McWhinney’s Big Brain Plays. McWhinney’s article focuses on “Big-wig alumni and students…” sharing pieces of advice for those currently enrolled in university. Big Brain Plays goes hand-in-hand with Self-Taught, thought it does not focus solely on one’s self-discovery, rather quoting “Big-wig alumni…”. Rachel Notley’s advice fits quite well with Yu’s own; “Finding your voice can take time… Be patient and give yourself a break. When you find your voice, the results will be worth it.”
In conclusion, a campus newspaper such as The Gateway can be a critical and valuable resource, particularly for students whom have just entered the University of Alberta; whether that be after taking some time off school or having just finished high school the previous June. Many students feel lost and despondent during this time of transition; for some, the articles mentioned above in The Gateway may just help them feel a little less alone in the world.
Yu, Soyoung. “Self-Taught.” The Gateway, Sept. 2018, p. 30.
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