Amanda Blackman’s Dark Place

Photo credit: Taelar Pollman · The Sentry

Photo credit: Taelar Pollman · The Sentry
Here’s to new beginnings

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time as a writer at The Sentry, it’s that people love to talk about themselves. I love hearing others’ stories, but there’s something to be proud of in my own. 

For the past two and a half years, writing at The Sentry has been the cornerstone of my college experience. You may have read what I’ve written in that time, or maybe not. (You really should because there are pieces that I am incredibly proud of. Go search Title IX on our website.) 

The process of learning how to be a real-life writer has transformed my view of myself. I know, I know, what a mushy stupid thing to say, but as I sat down to write this column, I realize just how much my life has changed since I wandered into The Sentry office in the fall of 2017 with big dreams (I applied for an editing position with exactly zero experience) and a weak resume.  

My first article was a feature. I had *no idea* what I was doing. I conducted the most cringe interviews and somehow put the 1,500 words together. (You could go read that on our website. Search Cinelatino.) 

The thought of arranging interviews with complete strangers scared the pants off me. I remember texting my husband before my first interviews, my fingers shaking as I told him how scared I felt to talk to someone about an on-campus silent disco. (You can also go read that piece on our website.) 

Now, two and a half years of messy learning later, it is my work at The Sentry that has built me. I’ve interviewed faculty who have passionately dedicated their lives to their studies, I’ve talked to filmmakers, and even interviewed the Chancellor.  

Looking back at the agoraphobic teenager I once was to me now, I know The Sentry has been integral in forcing me to gain confidence in myself. I can talk to people, and I can write well. And here I am, in an editor position like I wanted back in 2017. 

And here I am with a weekly column to word vomit whatever I want. So, HI MOM AND DAD! 

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