A Letter From the Editor In Chief

By: Amelia Rose Zimlich | Editor-In-Chief | arz1722@jagmail.southalabama.edu

Hello, Jags! I hope you have had a wonderful start to the first semester of 2022!

The beginning of a new semester is one of my favorite times of the school year. You never know what new opportunities will come your way.

For me, that unexpected opportunity is becoming The Vanguard’s Editor-In-Chief. It’s an honor to get to lead the student newspaper during my final semester. The newspaper has made a strong and unexpected impact on me since I joined at the end of my Junior year, and even before then as a reader since my freshman year. To represent students, hear their stories and keep them informed is a huge responsibility that I am excited to take on.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Amelia Rose Zimlich, and I am a Senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Communication. I was born and raised in Mobile and grew up hearing many stories from my alumni parents about South Alabama, including special ones about my grandfather, who started teaching here as an education professor three years after South was founded.

More fun facts about me: I go by Amelia Rose, I love cats and hosting my lifestyle podcast on the weekends.

One thing I’ve learned during college is to be open to chances to try something new, even the unexpected ones. I never saw myself joining the student newspaper. From my perspective, news seemed scary, stressful and, if you weren’t perfect, capable of getting you sued (kidding…kind of).

When my professor, who is also the faculty advisor for The Vanguard, approached me about joining the newspaper and asked what I was interested in writing about, I told her, “I’m interested in lifestyle and entertainment, but I’m comfortable writing whatever you need – except for crime and politics.” Take a look at our website, and you’ll see how that worked out for me.

Even roadblocks and setbacks open doors sometimes. When I changed my major my freshman year, I couldn’t help feeling like I had failed in some way. Changing a major is by no means unheard of, with 80% of college students switching at least once. But changing my mind felt like admitting I was wrong about myself, my plans and my future.

But it was the right decision, and it didn’t take long for me to figure it out. Once I changed my outlook and sought out different experiences, I ended up doing things that I never would have done if I had stayed in a major that wasn’t right for me.

If I had shied away from scary moments and new opportunities, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Sometimes, it’s easy to get comfortable with familiarity, even if it’s not particularly good for us.

I hope you will say “yes” to new things. Join a new club. Make new friends. Have an open mind about a new class. Take your mind off of what you think something is. Get to know it for what it truly is. 

When I started working for The Vanguard, instead of focusing on my fears, I focused on what journalism actually is: telling the truth. Once I did that, the job got easier.

So, if you find an open door, go through it. Who knows where it might lead?