Several of my friends would probably point out my dislike for most ‘80s music as a serious character flaw, and while I still refuse to draw many exceptions beyond Talking Heads and assorted Tears for Fears, I have learned to appreciate one song in particular for its relevance, despite its decade of origin.
Men at Work’s “Overkill,” though it may be drenched in ‘80s sax, came into my life a few months ago and somehow managed to sum up so much of what I saw my fellow seniors going through. It deals a lot with needless worry, losing sleep, thinking about things you can’t control and that restlessness that comes with uncertainty.
Nothing quite prepares you for senior year, even watching older friends struggle with what they’re going to do after school. It feels a little like standing on a precipice, but unless you’re there, you don’t totally understand.
Throughout the past few months, I’ve seen the song’s lyrics play out in my friends’ stories. “I can’t get to sleep.” “I think about the implications.” “I worry over situations unclear.”
Mercifully, as the semester is nearly at its end, we’re all doing a better job of sorting ourselves out, which is what I figured would happen, but I still had a hard time trusting or saying to anyone else.
I’m glad “Overkill” is fading out while we step back and tie up loose ends, which brings me to the biggest loose end I’ve got to contend with.
It’s been a privilege serving the past four years as a member of the Belmont Vision staff, especially in the capacity of editor. To play that role in a community has meant a lot, though it makes it that much harder to walk away. Through late nights and tight deadlines, exploding water mains, presidential debates and many other things, I hope the campus knows that there’s a group of people on the 2nd floor of Gabhart who care a lot about this place and would forego Friday nights and untold amounts of sleep to tell a story.
I can honestly say I’ve never poured this much time and energy into anything, and for so long. I always heard talk of the way journalism can get under your skin and never leave you. The Vision made that happen for me. If I’m at some kind of event, I still feel inexplicably guilty for not covering it, and I learned to always carry a reporter’s notebook. I also learned to never put my phone on silent for the sake of a nap because someone will call a press conference.
People find meaning from so many different places. For me, I can remember sophomore year after spending an intense three days covering the debate, my feet never felt more solid hitting the ground.
So, I leave Belmont asking for your continued support for the Vision, for the institution of college journalism, for the freedom of students to learn and love the role they can play on a campus, and one day in a larger community, as journalists acting independently and in the name of our nobler human inclinations. I ask that you would stand behind the kids who would put truth and hard work first, and then turn around to do it all over again.
I firmly believe what one of my favorite journalists once said: Journalism is an act of faith in the future.
Erin Carson, Vision editor, is a senior journalism major in the Honors Program.