If you’re reading this, you already know what the Sheaf is. Maybe you’re a long-time fan. Maybe you’re that frequent online commenter The Oatmeal Savage. Regardless, you’re reading the Sheaf, and now I’m going to try to convince you to write for it, too.
I’ve had the privilege of working for the Sheaf Publishing Society for the last two years. In those two years, I’ve written a lot of stuff. Whether I like it or not, the Sheaf has become an irrevocable part of who I am at the University of Saskatchewan.
I used to joke that working for the Sheaf had taken the place of a stable, longterm romantic relationship in my life. As that’s turned out to be true — somewhat hilariously — then this article is a love letter and a breakup letter all rolled into one. Much like any relationship, no matter how much you love something, sometimes you need to let it go. Maybe now that I’m done, I’ll have time to go on a real date or two.
This is why I need you to write instead of me. The Sheaf needs and deserves the best ideas this campus has to offer.
Write for the Sheaf because you think that it’s great. Some amazing writing has come out of this paper, and some great writers, too. Write because you want to be part of that group of writers and to see your name in print.
Write for the Sheaf because you think that it kind of sucks. There are always ways that it could be made better. Don’t just sit around and complain — if you don’t like something, change it. Make it better.
Write for the Sheaf because you want to contribute to your community. Student journalism is an important part of campus culture. Your student newspaper is an outlet for student perspectives and a way to hold powerful people accountable. The pen really is sometimes mightier than the sword.
Write for the Sheaf because it’s a chance to meet people who you wouldn’t meet under any other circumstances. During my time at the paper, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with everyone from the president of the university to famous journalists to eating disorder survivors. Each person I talked to has helped me to see the world in a different way, and for that I’m grateful.
Write for the Sheaf for the chance to meet some of the best friends you’ll ever make while in university. To all whom I’ve made friends with through my time at the Sheaf — thank you. Nothing forms bonds like drinking too much and arguing over Canadian Press style. The Sheaf is in excellent hands.
Write for the Sheaf because you know that you want to go into journalism or publishing. Not only do you get real, professional job experience with writing, editing and copy editing, you might just get a great reference for your next job application. There’s no better place at the University of Saskatchewan to gain these skills.
Write for the Sheaf because you have no idea what you want to do. Try stuff out. Do it because you’re bored. Fumble around and try sports reporting, or copy editing or drawing cartoons — or none of those things, but do something, because you might just stumble across the thing that you’re meant to be doing.
Write for the Sheaf to learn things about yourself. I have written about some of the most beautiful and painful and cathartic parts of myself for others to read. I wrote about my mental illness. I came out as bisexual to the entire university. I’ll never not be proud of those words. Be proud of yours, too.
Write for the Sheaf, because at some point, someone will tell you that your voice doesn’t matter because you’re young. We’re here to tell you that it does.
Write for the Sheaf because it might just change your life. It changed mine.
Photo: Jiem Carlo Narag