May 23, 2024

Throughout my life, I’ve heard people speak about the power of words. Every now and again I’d hear the same speech about how the things you say can make someone feel better or worse about themselves. I never truly believed it until I came to work at Lancer Media Group. 

 That wasn’t to say that I didn’t know the power of words on a page. Even before I committed to majoring in journalism halfway through my freshman year, I had a passion for cultivating stories. Throughout my life I had studied the craft of writing, written countless papers, a dozen short stories and even half of a novel. 

 Even so, it took me two years to muster the courage to join Lancer Media Group. At the time, I told myself it was because I was too busy with school and work. The reality was that I was afraid of change, of trying something new. 

 When I finally gained the courage to join the newspaper, I spent hours writing my first assignment, studying every word over and over. Once I submitted it, I sat and waited, filled with anxious thoughts of how far behind I could be, or how much I would need to improve. 

 When the weekly news meeting rolled around, I experienced something I never had before. As we sat and received our assignments for the next issue, the then editor-in-chief, Emily McGinn, announced that I was the “writer of the issue” because of the work I had done on my first article. In that moment I realized how much power words truly had. 

 Many of us believe that the things we say hold little merit, whether it be because of the way that we perceive ourselves and others. However, in that moment, words encouraged me in such a powerful way that it motivated me to keep writing and work to be better. 

 After that moment, I became more conscious of how I treated others, especially as I gained more responsibility at The Banner. When I was promoted to section editor, I knew that I had a duty to encourage my assistants just as Emily had encouraged me. Whenever I gave criticism or feedback, I made sure that I mentioned something that they did well, or point out their strengths. 

 Once I was promoted to managing editor, I understood the value of words even more. I realized that one of the most important parts of managing people was fostering connections with them. If I wasn’t encouraging and interacting with the writers and section editors, there would be no trust between us. 

 Ever since I received that initial encouragement, I made it my mission to pass on what had been provided for me and give back those powerful words to others.

Without that reassurace, I may not have had the confidence to strive for greater things. Without it, I may have still been an assistant editor today. Realizing how much words spurred me to reach for greatness, I wanted to give my peers the same epiphany. If I could make someone realize that they had the potential for greatness, I would have fulfilled Emily’s legacy. 

 What makes LMG a great organization is not just the skilled staff, but the tight-knit community that thrives on positivity. It wasn’t just Emily who encouraged me, but my peers and professors as well. People like our adviser Sonya Singh, and my fellow editors Michael Marks, Gabi Riggin, Zerenity Lopez and others provided me with words of affirmation and support that helped me to stay motivated and held me to a higher standard. Just as Emily saw potential in me, I see the potential for the Banner to grow and become better with time, just as I am excited to uncover the potential for my own future.

Similarly, a joke can fail to make people laugh because of poor delivery or timing. Regardless, without one or more of these elements, we can look at a joke and objectively say it is less funny than it would be if it had those qualities. 

While everyone has their own taste and preference for humor, these principles are evidence that humor is a universal experience that defies cultural boundaries. 

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