By Alex Scheib
Dear Consider Magazine,
When I first joined Consider, I was a first semester freshman who had just moved across the country in the middle of a pandemic. I had no idea what to expect at the University of Michigan and frankly, I was intimidated by the number of clubs and opportunities available. Scrolling through the online version of Festifall we had that year, I randomly read Consider’s description as a news organization that focused on showcasing multiple perspectives. It was refreshing and seemed like something I’d want to be a part of. The rest was history. Now, as a recent graduate, I want to thank Consider for the impact it had, not only on my college experience, but on me as an individual.
Through Consider, I learned a number of valuable lessons that I hope to carry with me throughout my post-grad life. First, true to the magazine’s format, I learned the real value of diverse perspectives. At Consider, we choose to focus on four perspectives for each topic, but there are always more. I knew when I came to college that I wanted to surround myself with people who are different from me, because that’s the only way to learn life’s real lessons. But, I had no idea that I would find it in Consider. By communicating with our members and reading the articles they put together, I learned how the math curriculum affects students from different backgrounds and the value of the humanities according to a community college graduate. Consider asked me to challenge the ways I think about the world and allowed me to understand it from multiple perspectives. Society, now more than ever, needs to be tolerant, and the best way to do that is to encourage conversation with people we wouldn’t otherwise engage with. We must ask others what drives them and how their perspectives have been shaped by their experiences. Understanding diverse perspectives can make us better, more empathetic people.
Consider also taught me that you don’t need to make definitive decisions about the way you feel. Humans are complex beings that are constantly learning more information. It’s okay to look at all the facts and admit that you still don’t know everything. Along with that, I learned that you don’t owe anybody your opinion if it's not something you feel confident in sharing. After the Michigan State shooting last year, we talked about whether we should meet that next day, discuss what had happened, or if people even felt safe attending an in-person meeting. I knew many of our members were hurting and wanted to be as respectful as possible about the way Consider proceeded that week. In a similar vein, we also poll our members regarding topics we want to write about and everyone has a say in what we publish. By doing this, we have protected our writers and the publication. We didn’t owe it to anybody to put out something controversial just for readership. There’s a huge difference between sitting in a room with your friends, talking about an issue and publishing your experiences and opinions for the whole world to read.
On a more personal level, I have learned a lot about leadership, including that it’s okay to rely on others for help. Before Consider, I was the kind of person who never had my papers peer reviewed. I hated group work. I much preferred to do everything myself because that’s the only way I knew for sure it’d be done right. It took a lot of trust for me to be able to share my writing with anybody but my professors and to ask others to help lessen my burden of tasks. I now know that Consider Magazine wouldn’t be half the student organization it is today if I tried to do it all myself. I was able to rely on Talia for editing blog posts, Jake for creating beautiful instagram graphics, and Eva to make sure all the art was submitted in a timely manner. In all of that extra time, we were able to engage with our alumni network to secure more funding, host our first ever launch events, and revamp the blog and marketing departments which were dissolved during COVID.
I’ve always said that you get out of Consider Magazine what you put into it. I put my whole self into this magazine during the past two years as the Editor-In-Chief, dedicating time everyday to writing emails, editing blog posts, engaging with school administrators, and just being there for our staff. Through these lessons and so many others, I’ve gotten so much out of Consider. I’m so lucky to have found this group of amazing people, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. As for words of wisdom: protect and cherish Consider. It’s such a special environment where you can be yourself so authentically and follow your passions. I’ll never forget receiving a text from Thomas about the font we use on our front cover. It was something I thought was so trivial but he used it to completely revamp our website. Or when Carlos shared his photography website with us and we were able to use his skills to provide our members with free professional headshots. Consider doesn’t do applications. Everybody has value and being able to take advantage of those skills and perspectives is way more impressive than knit-picking members that you think fit a specific vision. Consider doesn’t want to change you. It wants you to be authentically you, and there’s very few places left in this world that can honestly say that. Thank you for embracing my authentic self and trusting me to lead you all these past two years. I know Michael will be an amazing Editor, and I am so excited to see what you all do next.
Thank you all so much for everything,