Heading into 2020, we all joked that we had 20/20 vision and were looking forward to starting a new decade fresh — with new opportunities and new journeys. 2020 brought us quite the opposite, with fewer opportunities and being stuck inside our homes. When thinking of what we should include in our spring issue, there was the unavoidable. For the past year and on, we all needed to adapt our vision. We learned in new ways. We stayed six feet apart from each other. We all experienced the world in a whole new way. We felt that it would be wrong not to address what we faced this past year, as we all went through it together in the most isolated way possible.
That is where our idea for this print issue came in. We wanted to create a time capsule, something for us to look back on and realize how crazy of a year it was. Not only have we experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, but throughout the summer, activism flooded the streets as the Black Lives Matter movement took over after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others. As college students, we have not attended a regular class since March 2020 — now, we sit at our desks at home or at a designated spot in a classroom six feet apart with masks on and sanitizer in hand.
In the following pages, we reflect on changes. Annie Zwisler reminds us of college freshmen who are currently living an entirely different freshman experience than the rest, and Grace Marie Burton discusses live music and how local artists are impacted by the pandemic. At the same time, we look at the positives that we experienced. Stories like Molly Heideman’s teach us about embracing our small victories, and Terry Lee lll celebrates the untiring essential workers who kept the lights on. Throughout this issue, we want to tell a story. Not any story but our story. The story of the small business owner struggling to stay open. The story of students struggling with online learning. The story of the introvert, who has had a year full of staying at home. The story of the activists, wanting to share their voices and create change.
As you leaf through this issue, I hope you are able to take a step back and reflect. I hope that through this issue, you are able to look back on the past year and remember not only the bad but the good that we all experienced.
SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA
Hi, I’m Holly Liptak, a senior journalism student from Akron and the editor-in-chief of The Burr this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.
Sara Crawford is a senior journalism student from Lakewood, Ohio, with minors in public relations and political science. She is the editor-in-chief for The Burr, this being her fourth semester. In addition to working for The Burr, she is the opinions editor for The Kent Stater and an intern for the Cleveland Magazine. She has always had a passion for writing, starting with short stories about her friends and dog throughout elementary school and advancing from there. She is excited to see what this semester holds for both The Burr and herself! You can follow her on Twitter at @sara_crawford1 to learn more about her journey in journalism!