I played myself. Somehow I have managed to become the Editor-in-Chief of this small, but prestigious publication. Do not be fooled though, I have no idea what I’m doing. In fact, no matter how many times Camille has told me the only way I could mess Hilltopics up is by physically burning down Clements Hall, I am wholeheartedly convinced that I am the chosen one. You might not know this, but I am currently engaged in battle with this tiny little voice in my head that tells me I’m special: I will be the one person in the 12-year history of this publication to, quite simply, f*** it up.
I know, I know. Editors-in-Chief aren’t supposed to curse and this letter should be poignant and flowing with intellectual insight, but quite frankly, I’m all tired out. I’ve written too many scholarly essays in too many classes for me to try and do it for this space. Plus, it wouldn’t be true to the spirit of Hilltopics to try to be someone I’m not. At its heart, Hilltopics has always been a refuge for “weirdos” who have ideas and opinions and want to tell the world about them. We’re here to serve an intellectual community by putting out articles about topics our writers find important. Our aim is to educate, provoke, and engage people in a way they might not have experienced before.
For us as a team, right now is the beginning of a new chapter. Our former Editor in Chief, Kenny Martin, has stepped down in order to pursue a semester abroad in Cambridge. He’s done such a great job the past year and I hope to continue to improve on his work. There’s inherently a chance for failure in this transitionary time, and like any other person going through a change, I’m freaking out on behalf of the staff. I’ve bamboozled them too; they don’t realize I have no idea what’s going to happen this semester.
Many college students can identify with this idea of finessing one’s way through situations. Much to the chagrin of our professors, we’ve finessed our way through essays and projects ever since we learned how to spell procrastination. However, this idea of getting by can also apply to when we find ourselves in a new normal. For some it’s an adjustment to a new era of immigration policy, for others it’s the death of a loved one or a new addition to the family. Some people are getting used to being a part of Greek life, some are getting used to new positions or new majors. In some situations we survive by embracing our new normal, in others we persevere by finding new ways to navigate it or by fighting to change our status quo.
This semester we’re embracing what’s already good about Hilltopics, but also changing so we can be better. Our website editor, Alec Mason, has done a wonderful job revamping our website. We’re looking forward to offering more content online. Hilltopics will be sponsoring events to engage the SMU community in discussions about topics we cover in our issues. In the coming weeks, we also hope to launch a new podcast discussing a variety of pertinent topics in an entertaining platform.
I know that we will succeed. Each issue is the product of weeks of dedication and passion for this publication from people who are ridiculously committed to making Hilltopics work. No matter what that voice says, there’s no way I could mess this up simply because Hilltopics doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the Honors community and the people from that community who have stepped up to carry it on. I’m honored to be able to serve those people and I’m brimming with gratitude for this opportunity.
That being said, it is my utmost pleasure to present this issue of Hilltopics. Read it, share it, and keep your fingers crossed. After all, I’ve still got a long way to go.