May 25, 2024

If you have read my work throughout the year, you might have realized I am an opinionated person. I have offered my two cents on quite a few things–fast food, Starbucks, green living–so for the last issue of the year, I have decided to give you a bit of a break. Instead, I want to share what I have learned over the past couple weeks.

In the last couple weeks, I have had the privilege to chat with three former editors-in-chief (EICs) of The Banner; they each were in the same position as me, only we all took the position in a different decade. As I spoke with each of them, we discussed many differences that have occurred over the years. For example, I discussed the transition from physically laying out the paper to prepping it digitally with Tom Pace, the EIC from the early ’90s (more on this in Vision, pages 4-5). 

We also noted the changes made to the school–it has grown rapidly in the past 20 or 30 years.

However, what stood out to me the most is that, despite our differences generationally, we all had some shared experience that connected us. 

I could empathize with Jay Hobbs (the EIC from the mid-2000s) when he referenced long print nights, and I heard my own sentiment in the words of Tom Phillips (the EIC from the early ’80s) when he said he and his staff “were proud of what (they) accomplished” during his time at California Baptist College. 

I am in Phillips’s position as a student and EIC exactly 40 years later, however, I found that we had more in common than one would think with such a generation gap.

I think, in a way, we can all draw something from this; in our society, we emphasize our differences all the time. We like to point out how things have changed, and create divides between generations. 

While it is wonderful in many contexts to point to how we have progressed in society, it would serve us all well to realize that most of us are extremely similar to those who came before us. The students who walked our campus 40, 30 or 20 years ago were young adults, just like us, looking to launch careers and pursue dreams they had yet to realize. They worked hard. They had fun. They were passionate about things happening in their world, just like we are.

We like to divide ourselves in many ways, all the time. We like to categorize, and we often do this with different generations. However, I encourage everyone to sit down and speak to someone born in a different time for a while. Ask what their life was like and listen to their story, and see if perhaps you can identify with them.

In a strange way, we are all interconnected through shared experiences, even when they occur in different times. 

It might serve us well to remember that.

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