NESS’ NOTES: A thank you to The Journal from a psychology major


Courtesy of Ashley Ness

From left to right, former Suffolk Journal News Editor Katelyn Norwood, Opinion Editor Ashley Ness and former Editor-in-Chief Caroline Enos at a Boston Red Sox game.

In May 2020, I was a sophomore sitting in my bedroom in Florida, feeling beyond isolated from the start of a global pandemic that affected all of us, when I remembered something my freshman year roommate said to me back in 2018: “You’re opinionated, you should write for the opinion section of The Suffolk Journal.”

At the time, she was getting promoted to Assistant News Editor. Desperate to try something new, I wrote an opinion article, and I haven’t looked back since.

Remembering that comment made me scoff, but she had a point. That roommate, who is now my best friend of five years, became the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal for over two years until she graduated in 2022.

Because of The Journal, I have never stopped learning. I am constantly reminded of the importance of journalism and I am always inspired by the drive of the writers and editors that constitute this wonderful group.

I’m a psychology major and gender studies minor who never took a journalism or communications class. Yet, I was welcomed with open arms by the members of The Journal. My knowledge of AP style was limited and I was a bit intimidated by it at first, but the editors were eager to show me the ropes.

There’s a certain camaraderie that comes along with working together towards a common goal in the narrow Journal office every Tuesday. We all strive to get out an impactful newspaper with stories that people are excited to read and to lift the voices of Suffolk’s community. Seeing the Progress Pride Flag in the window every time I’d go in the office reminded me of the warm, embracing environment that is The Journal.

As for me, being an opinion editor has allowed me to explore viewpoints other than my own. I know I’m the one editing the work and trying to teach writers how to improve, but I’ve found that more than anything, the writers teach me. I’ve learned the importance of collaboration and teamwork, and that there is always room to grow.

My time in The Journal has been a wonderful ride that is coming to a bittersweet end for me. I will dearly miss struggling to think up pitch ideas, having to install the Brawler font every week and anxiously remembering to save the InDesign file.

Though the icebreaker beach ball deflated, I will never forget the smile on my face during pitch when we’d toss it around and get to know each other just a bit better.

Each week with The Journal brought forth different experiences — you never know every story that is going to get written. But the constant is that you can count on the team that is The Journal.

To the writers who eagerly take pitches each week, your enthusiasm is inspiring. To the editors who have helped me whenever I needed it and always made me smile and laugh, you have my utmost gratitude.

And to the curious Ram who might be thinking about writing for The Journal, go for it. You never know what kinds of memories and experiences will come. For me, it made all the difference in my time at Suffolk.