Today I wanted to write about something near and dear to my heart! For the past two years, I’ve worked on the editorial board of an undergraduate journal on campus—Hardwire: the Undergraduate Journal of Sexual Diversity Studies. Undergraduate journals are generally published once a year, and unlike regular journals, are run by and feature the work of undergraduate students.
Pieces published in undergraduate journals go through a screening and editing process, where student editors select pieces for the journal and edit these pieces to ready them for publication. I’ve been an editor with Hardwire for two years, and I’ve been editor-in-chief of Hardwire for the past year and this upcoming year! There are a couple key reasons why being an editor has been one of the best parts of my university experience.
First, I can engage in a subject matter I love.
Being an editor on a journal has taught me so much about the subject matter I’m interested in. As an editor, I read about 50 essays/year from impressive U of T students. Because I get to read and edit this work, I’m engaged in what people are writing and thinking about on campus. I also get to read fascinating articles which have changed my own personal perspectives on the world.
I love that as an editor I can contribute to publishing and highlighting undergraduate students’ work, which often goes under-appreciated for the amount of effort put into it.
Second, I can get to know like-minded people.
A perk I didn’t anticipate of being an editor is that I’ve gotten to know some of my closest friends! Like many other campus groups, being an editor allows you to work really closely with other people on a project that brings you together. Also, because everyone on the editorial board shares similar interests in the subject we’re publishing on, we’ve all gotten really close over the years.
Third, I can develop my own skills.
Being an editor has taught me so many incredible skills! Editing other people’s work has allowed me to understand what makes a good essay, and thus apply this to my own work. Being exposed to the high quality work being submitted to the journal has also given me inspiration and guidance—we often don’t see examples of excellent undergraduate work at university, so seeing this has taught me what I need to change and develop in my own work.
If you’re looking to get more involved on campus in a way that engages you in your field of study and teaches you important skills about writing and editing, I highly recommend applying to the editorial board of a journal! A list of campus journals is on the U of T library website, and many (including Hardwire!) will be looking for editors this upcoming month.