I just love the start of a school year. The anticipation and built-up energy are perennially rejuvenating, and I find myself looking forward to campus life by the end of my summers.

It’s always fun to return, noticing the changes summer has brought: flourishing flowers and meticulously manicured landscaping tended by the physical plant staff, a Spanish section added at the library, the Visual Arts building’s masonry restored, the intramural volleyball courts replenished with sand, a kitchen-trailer camping out in a parking lot — and, of course, new faces.

I find this sense of budding, bubbling newness best embodied at the opening convocation, which is always a highlight for me. We celebrate a year beginning, think about possibilities and yet-to-be-fulfilled ambitions, unite for the first time as a campus and agree as students nearly unanimously that yes, this is a time worthy of gathering.

Later, goals may go unmet, frictions may emerge, and grumblings about convos might surface; but for now, it’s nice to applaud our incoming students and revel in the almost tangible sense of newness and hope.

It’s also the beginning of another year of newspapers! I look forward to covering the campus with our staff and adding on to the 111-year history of our student-run newspaper.

I hope that our coverage reflects our campus with accuracy, in-depth reporting and diverse stories spanning the breadth of campus. I’m sure that at times our coverage will disappoint and leave goals unmet, but I encourage you to hold us accountable with fairness and grace.

Another part of the newspaper that I’m looking forward to is the crossword section. Since a few weeks into my time at GC, this little corner of the funnies section has been a consistent source of joy for me.

I’m always grateful for people telling me their “solve stories” or sending a picture of their completed crossword — I’m never sure how many people do them, so seeing a completed crossword in Java Junction or hearing that some professors do them during meetings makes me smile.

But more than that, I’m grateful for how it pulled me into journalism and The Record. I’m an accounting major, so Record work wasn’t in my plan of study. But after experiencing the magic of emailing my crossword to someone and seeing hundreds across campus just days later, I was enthralled. I quickly became a loyal reader and aspiring contributor.

And that would be my advice for first-years: plug in across campus. Find nooks and niches of GC that might not be on your prescribed path, and see where they take you.

I hope, perhaps self-interestedly, that some of you find The Record to be a meaningful place to contribute, as I did. But it might also be in a ceramics class you find time for, a club that catches your eye, a spontaneous minor you add, or an impromptu music class you take after always having loved the drums.

That’s one of the benefits of a liberal arts college: we can study across disciplines. Our campus is better when we’re connected, and I hope that this year will be one of fresh flowers, mini crosswords and rich cross-campus interactions.