Hello! It has been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post, but I figured it’s time to check back in. If you’re reading this, thank you for supporting student writers and creators! I would also like to thank Gannon for understanding the importance of giving students a creative platform and helping Edge to reach its fullest potential. Over the past year, Edge has gone through some major transformations, and to be completely honest, it hasn’t always been easy. We had to re-define our mission and purpose as a student-produced website that is entertaining for the members of the Gannon community while still being focused on sharing the awesomeness of our university with prospective students that are future members of the Gannon Family. As a member of Edge back when we wrote in the basement of Gitnik Manse that is still here, writing this blog from a beautiful new office on the third-floor of Palumbo, I was part of this whole journey and you can trust me when I say that a lot went into this transition. There were times when I found it difficult to let go of old ways, but I had to reluctantly agree that we could improve. There were times when new experiences made me uncomfortable, but I had to learn that great things never come from the comfort zone. My point is that even though change might be necessary, it can still be really hard, especially when it comes to something you love.
I guess this is as good a time as any to explain why Edge is so important to me. When I started my freshman year of college, I was absolutely terrified. I had a few friends that I graduated high school with that were coming to Gannon, but we were all commuters and had different majors. I felt isolated and afraid that I wouldn’t find anyone here that I could relate to. There was only one other person that I even knew that went to Gannon. His name was Aaron Mook. He was a senior in high school when I was a freshman and I thought he was really cool. He sang a Fall Out Boy song at the talent show the year that we overlapped and I sang “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. He also made funny videos each year that were played at the school wide Christmas assembly, and that year I debuted my christmas/apocalypse song (It was 12/21/2012. If you recall, that was the day the Mayans had predicted to be the end of the world) set to the tune of “Silver Bells.” After I finished the song with an excerpt from an R.E.M. hit: “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine,” everyone from the entire school literally stood up and chanted my name. I still get goosebumps thinking about that moment and my first encore. This became a tradition for me each year and I became a bit of a celebrity in my high school. Granted, it was a “small fish in an even smaller pond” situation, but it felt great.
Flash forward four years, I sent Aaron a message because I felt lost. Coming from a school where I knew everyone and everyone knew me, I really needed to find my niche. And even though he didn’t know me very well, Aaron was incredibly kind to me. He asked me what my major was. I said English education. Then he asked me why and I told him that I love creative writing and that a teacher that we both had inspired me. He told me I should come to a meeting on a Sunday afternoon. I didn’t know what it was for but I showed up because I needed to get involved in something and meet new people. It turned out to be a meeting to assign articles for the student online magazine, aka Edge. Over the next few weeks. Aaron and I really connected over music and movies and he asked me to come hang out with his friends and him. They were all incredibly welcoming and they made me feel at home at Gannon. I hung out with them all the time during my freshman year and it was amazing! We once played a game of “Risk” that lasted two whole nights! We also had a tradition of going to trivia every Wednesday night, and I’m not sure if this was part of the tradition but we usually lost. By the second semester, Aaron and his roommate were co-Editors In Chief of Edge and I was a managing editor.
The sad part of this story is that Aaron and the rest of the crew were all seniors or had already graduated. Edge was changing departments and all of my close friends were gone. I latched on to Edge as if it represented them. Edge was my Christmas assembly – where I could be my goofy self and people loved me for it. The thing that made Gannon my home was writing for the website. Even though it really was the friendships I made, I had a tough time differentiating them. So it was a struggle for me when things changed, and I felt that I had to argue to keep things as “the same” as possible. But now we are elevating Edge to a new level, and that’s the best tribute we can give to those that came before us.
(By the way, Aaron and I are still super close and we co-host a podcast about music together! The whole squad has a group-chat and we stay in touch. If they are reading this, they know who they are and they should know that they made me feel welcome at college and they are very special people!)
It’s time to talk about how cool the new Edge is! We have a newly designed website, a ton of new equipment for making videos and podcasts, double the student creators, awesome Edge merch, and a beautiful spacious office! We also have access to amazing marketing professionals that can help us to achieve whatever we put our minds to! Edge 2.0 has so many more possibilities than I could have ever dreamed of! (And you know how Gannon feels about possibilities!) We are going to create amazing things – I promise. We are going to share our stories, our love, our struggles, and everything in between to create a place where people can find out about what it is to be a student, and we’re gonna do it through our lense!
It has been a wild ride so far, and I am so proud to have been part of it,
and then it was now.