By Brittany Wilson, The Whetstone

It’s strange to think that after this issue, I will never write another article for The Whetstone.

I will never struggle for another interview with college administration.

I’ll never stay up all night in The Whetstone office, only to wake up face-first in my laptop to the sound of Kristen typing beside me the next morning.

I’ll never look up from my book to find Professor Greto standing in the office doorway—sleeves rolled to his elbows, ornery look on his face—wondering about any progress we’d made on the newspaper since the day before.

In a matter of a few days, all of these little things—things that seemed so insignificant and routine at the time, that have become such a large part of my life – will suddenly disappear.

Those are the things that I’ll miss most about Wesley College.

I found The Whetstone four years ago.

At the end of my freshman year—my first spring semester at Wesley—my 100-level English class was converted into a writing workshop, an opportunity for students to revise and edit drafts of their final papers during class time.

Professor Greto wasn’t my teacher, just a sub filling in. I nervously watched as he reviewed papers with my classmates one-by-one. He marked them up aggressively, almost as if he were striking a match across the page; these sharp, rigid gestures mirrored the way his head shook back and forth, almost mechanically, in disapproval.

Writing was intimidating to me then.

I was terrified that my own words could somehow be used against me—used to attack me—and I was too shy to speak up. I preferred to keep my thoughts locked in the scribbles that filled all the drawers of my desk. I’d be safe there.

But after that class, Professor Greto offered some genuine feedback on my paper and said he hoped I’d consider joining The Whetstone.

Somewhere in that paper he’d found a reason to believe in me.

So the next semester, I became a student journalist.

Brittany Wilson, a shy, reserved, creative writer, was writing for The Whetstone.

Every interview pushed me further and further outside of my comfort zone. I’d close my eyes and try to rid myself of any nervous energy before I knocked on office doors.

“Take a deep breath. Keep calm. Remember why you’re here.”

As I grew more confident in my writing, I grew more confident in myself.

By junior year I understood that in journalism you have to believe in what you write, because there’s always a chance you’ll have to fight on its behalf.

I learned how to take criticism, stand up for myself, and use my words to make real change.

I learned how to write.

I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been presented at Wesley, but most of all I’m thankful for the chance to be a catalyst for the student voice.

So many people have asked what will happen to The Whetstone once Kristen and I have graduated. But Kristen and I are not The Whetstone.

The Whetstone was here long before we showed up, and it will probably survive us.

Honestly, I think a better question is “What will Kristen and I do without The Whetstone?”

I’m still figuring that out.

All I know is, in a few days, I’ll be standing on stage in a cap and gown—Wesley College behind me, and the whole world in front of me.

“Take a deep breath. Keep calm. Remember why you’re here.”