It is that time of the year when farewells flood your life as a student. Graduation is an overwhelming experience for many and yet not, for some. I am also graduating from my masters this month, and hence this is my final month as the editor at Campus Watch, and I must say that this is a farewell that is tougher than I had anticipated.
Campus Watch has been a part of my life since 2015. I started as a writer under a different structure than now, in my third year of college as a journalism student. As graduation came nearer, many doubts and questions had started flooding my mind as to where I was headed to next. I had been interested in writing and editing but was not sure on how to go about it along with my masters. It was in the summer of 2016 that I received a mail from Youth Ki Awaaz for the post of editor at Campus Watch. I applied, and a few calls and a meeting later, I had been selected as the Editor-in-Chief of Campus Watch.
I was thrilled to be heading Campus Watch. We started off by forming a team of writers from across various colleges, spread over many states. Campus Watch happened for me, at a time when I was juggling between entrance exams and self-doubt. The fact that someone thought I, along with a team of two other editors, could lead a platform, presented itself as a unique opportunity. It was a chance, not easy to get in a society where young people are encouraged and chided for having an opinion, at the same time. Needless to say, the experience has been an enriching one.
As a writer, you write and submit what your thoughts are (after fact-checking and research, of course) and let someone else take it from there. Being an editor, you find yourself on the other side of things. It is challenging because you might find your patience being tested when deadlines are not met or when you find that the content has been taken off from somewhere or when people simply stop responding to you. Keeping a track of deadlines, giving feedback, and learning and unlearning about people who make the team is an essential part of the role. Indeed, you have to edit and commission the pieces but it is a lot about the people. These are people whom you may or may not agree with, whose writing you may or may not like – yet you are all a team and you must function as one.
Being enrolled in a full-time course and managing a team along with it seemed hard initially but it became easier with time. I realised that I could experiment and think in a whole different way from the ‘plan’. I remember going to a college fest in Delhi to cover the events and returning at night with a different story than planned. I was critical of the happenings at a concert in college, and while it may have seemed like one could let it slide, I felt I had a story to tell. I did receive hate for it but it did not matter. I had felt like it needed to be said and the platform let me say it.
Over my association with CW, I have formed many bonds – especially ones with Amrita Singh (Associate Editor, later Community Editor) and Bhanvi Satija (Community Editor). Together, we learnt the ropes of managing people, brainstorming ideas and also found friendship. I have been a part of Campus Watch for three years now. A writer for one year and the editor for two, and now it is time to go. In my two years of studying filmmaking, Campus Watch has helped me stay connected to writing, editing and in a broader sense, journalism. Farewells are not easy and this happens to be the time of the year when the goodbyes lurk around each corner for students. Here’s to an experience that helped me grow in more ways than one – to storytelling, and to Campus Watch.