“This year isn’t done yet, I have the final say what goes in the paper and I say we need you”, were the words of SIN’s 2019 editor, Aine Kenny. Those few words were enough to make me sit up while I was brooding in bed, and it takes a lot to get me to move from a comfortable lying position.
My self-confidence dropped dramatically after officially dropping out of NUI Galway during the month of February 2019; a decision that was more emotional than tough because of failed grades and financial difficulties. Student life was memorable, but it was cut short in the beginning of semester two in 2nd year. Reading this message from my editor at the time gave me the biggest boost of confidence that one can’t even imagine, and I sincerely hope that everyone comes across that feeling. SIN made me feel like I had a place in NUI Galway even after I left. That meant a lot. A lot.
To this day, I’ve been allowed to stay on as a contributor, but I do have the intention of returning to NUI Galway in the future and study Creative Writing or Journalism, but for now I’m concentrating on these wonderful newspaper articles from SIN’s brilliant editors, my own short stories and paying rent because a mortgage at twenty-three years old doesn’t appeal to me. However, this past year has been an amazing whirlwind of articles and inspiration, coupled with having the honour of becoming part of the Senior Writing Team for SIN.
It’s the little things that really make a difference in how you feel about yourself and your future in writing. There’s a certain thrill that comes with seeing the article choices, seeing one that appeals to you and getting a confirmation message from the section’s editor that the article is all yours! Yours to make great, yours to report about, yours to make a favourite among SIN readers.
You almost go into a trance when writing the article whether it be news or features or sports; the article rests in your hands and you have the chance to make the piece the best you can, but we are all amazing writers and journalists in SIN, the articles that are written are of the highest quality and it’s not a surprise that there are a lot of talented writers out there who deserve more recognition than they get.
Writing for SIN these past few years has meant that I get to contribute to a paper that I love and that I know is great as well as being able to post my articles online for more readers and writers to get their hands on. Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing my social media followers, friends and family read my articles and tell me their thoughts on it; that’s what it’s all about, getting feedback whether it be constructive or destructive, but what matters most is the way you feel about your own work. If you are truly happy with your writing, then everyone’s opinion is background decoration.
I never showed my writing before SIN because I was terrified of the criticism from both people I knew and didn’t know, but writing for SIN helped me break free from my shell and show my writing to people who actually enjoyed reading my pieces.
I didn’t think it would be fun to be a SINner, but I was proven wrong faster than I could think of a title for my first article. Whether I’m headed for heaven, hell or purgatory then I’ll be arriving in my SIN hoodie, laptop in hand and a welcome phrase of “Do you do tea here? And, of course, is there a quiet place to write my next article?”.
Rachel Garvey is a Co-Editor for Features for Student Independent News for the year 2023/24. She works full-time, but dedicates her free time to writing and being involved in SIN. Rachel has been a contributor to SIN since 2017.