Photo credit: Charlotte Riethman

Upon starting the journalism program, you quickly realize your job is not to break the biggest story of the century.

Your job at the Algonquin Times is to publish a community newspaper. To bring an entire school together with relatable news.

People at college often stick with people in their program. You might have a friend in a different program that you cross paths with, but most times, we each stick to ourselves. That is where the Times comes in. We try to tell stories that offer you insight into what people in other programs are doing.

However, our recent stories have been told under the looming shadow of a global pandemic. The last thing we wanted was to be the constant reminder of the pain we are all feeling, but as reporters, we are mandated to bring you that news.

This pandemic has affected us all in many different ways, we would be remiss in ignoring that.

It has been a difficult year for everyone, and there is a growing sense of feeling like an imposter. We can wear our Algonquin College swag and tell our friends and family we are in college, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

For many of you, including the first-level journalism students who are about to take over this paper, your entire post-secondary educational lives have been strictly online. And as announced by President Brulé in an email on Nov. 17, next year’s fall-term would be strictly online except for those programs that absolutely require face-to-face learning.

You can’t help but ask, what are you missing?

College, university, graduating high-school: these events are supposed to mark the beginning of your adult life. Our culture is built around it. So many movies start with that first day at college or that inspiring world trotting gap year. We’re all familiar with these coming of age stories.

You are meant to form friendships that will last you the rest of your life, expand your mind and be introduced to new ideas and ways of thinking or just finally get out of that shitty little town you grew up in.

But in Fall 2020, many of us are stuck. We are still at home. Sure, we might be learning new things, but the friends we are supposed to make, the parties, the reckless behaviour, none of that is happening.

The good news is, a vaccine is coming, this crisis will have an end and it’s on the horizon. There is a good chance you’ll make it to campus for in-class learning, eventually.

The biggest story in the world was once the fall of the Berlin Wall, until the next biggest story happened. No one ever thought an event would match the devastation of 9/11, until a pandemic ravaged the world. There is no doubt that this time will fundamentally mark this generation.

We are at a turning point; marked but alive. We will use what we have learned to improve the brave new world that is about to unfold before us, and we are stronger for it.